Apple half-adds 40+ countries to iTunes Store, App Store

In an unusual half-expansion of the iTunes Store, Apple today added over 40 countries to the iTunes Store’s pull-down list of international stores, yet directed their users to English-language versions of the App Store rather than localized stores with traditional iTunes content. Many of the countries, including China, Korea, Lebanon, Russia, and Vietnam, notably lack significant English-speaking populations.

A brief skim of the App Store pages for these countries suggests that they are still in the process of being built, and may well be localized only as the iPhone and iPod touch expand in popularity overseas. The limited versions of the App Store sometimes lack for “Top Apps” and other featured content sidebars, while the absence of traditional iTunes Stores apparently reflects a lack of purchasable music, video, and other non-interactive downloadable content in those countries.

The complete list of new iTunes App Store countries is:

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Vietnam.