In Russia, you don’t buy music… you pirate it, along with pretty much everything else digital. That could soon change, though, as Apple is apparently now inviting a small group of Russians to an iTunes event scheduled to take place in Moscow tomorrow, December 4.
Mailed out by Apple’s local PR person, Irina Efremova, the Russian iTunes event will reportedly take place in GUM, one of Moscow’s more upscale shopping centers located on the famous Red Square.
Russian iTunes users have been noticing hints of a coming Russian iTunes Store since November, when a few people noticed they could search for tracks to purchase locally.
Apple could gain a lot by launching iTunes in Russia. Russia is one of the last big untapped markets when it comes to smartphone penetration, but it’s set to explode fourfold in the next two years.
On the other hand, though, rampant music and software piracy means that many companies can’t compete in Russia without charging significantly less than they would in other countries, sometimes as little as pennies on the dollar.