Apple presses play on iTunes, Apple TV expansion in Asia

On Wednesday Apple (s aapl) made a push to expand its content business in Asia. iTunes is now available in 12 new markets, and its Apple TV set-top box, which is basically a delivery method for selling iTunes video content, is now on sale in four new markets in the region.
Apple TV arrives in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, as MacRumors noted. For iTunes, it’s adding Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
For Hong Kong and Taiwan and the others that are new to iTunes, Apple has done something of a reverse launch: while all of them have had access to the App Store for purchasing apps from Apple, they hadn’t been able to buy music or videos until today. Apple says that local artists from both major and independent labels will be available.
Apple is clearly making Asia a priority lately. Opening iTunes sales in Hong Kong and Taiwan, which are considered part of the Greater China region, are particularly important. Growth in the area has been crucial to Apple’s app and mobile device sales, and is critical to the company’s future success, as CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly acknowledged. Apple has recently begun targeting Chinese-speaking customers specifically, with localized search and sharing functions both in the new versions of iOS and Mac OS X, which are expected to be released in fall and summer, respectively.