For those who have gotten their iPhones or iPod Touch, the next thing to do is to download free or purchase Apps that have been developed for those gadgets from the iTunes Store.
The Singapore Store was opened with the launch of iPhone a few months back and it allows you to get an account and easily purchase Apps with your credit card (or without for the free apps).
However, at the moment we only have access to the Apps Store but not the rest – like Music, Movies, TV Shows or even Podcasts.
Besides the lack of the full store, not every Apps that are launched in the iTunes Store is available to the Singapore market. For example, apps from Google, Last.FM or PopCap are not available to us, to name a few.
Furthermore, the Singapore Store’s pricing is based on the US dollars and not in our local currency. So don’t be surprise when you see your credit card bill.
BUT before you go hopping over to the US Store, you’d come to find that you can’t register an account there as you don’t have a valid US credit card.
BUT, before you go sign up for the SG store, do note there IS a work-around.
All you need is an iTunes Gift Card. These carries fix amounts from as low as US$15 up to US$200. Once you get a Gift Card, you can redeem these Gift Cards and use it to create an account in the US Store without having to key in a valid US credit card information during registration.
The best place to get these Gift Cards at the moment is at the iTunes Gift Card Store where they offer the Gift Cards at a discount up to 35% for the US$200 value (NOTE: These is during their Xmas sale till 2 January 2009). Based on current US$ to SG$ exchange rate, it’s almost like paying for the US$200 with SG$200, much better than purchasing Apps from the SG Store and paying US$ with your credit card! All you need is a PayPal account or, as the store owner is a Singaporean, you can use bank transfers from local banks (POSB, DBS, UOB or OCBC) to purchase the cards.
All you need to do after purchasing the Gift Cards, is to set up your US Store account following these instructions and you’re all set to get all the Apps available in iTunes Store, plus the TV shows, movies and music too.
For those who had already gotten your SG account, fret not. You can still have two concurrent accounts from both the SG and the US Store. Just note a few things:
- Your iPod Touch or iPhone’s App Store will be signed on with whichever store you are login on your iTunes before you sync
- When you do an App update – you will need to sign in to the correct store to download the updates
So go forth and populate your iPod Touch and iPhone!