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Apple brings iTunes Store to Brazil, 15 other countries

The company says the Brazil store will feature more than 20 million songs, including tracks from local artists.

Apple has significantly expanded iTunes availability across Latin America, it announced today.

The company singled out Brazil in its announcement, saying it will offer more than 20 million songs to customers in that country from every major music label. In addition, Apple says the service will include tracks from local artists, such as Ivete Sangalo and Marisa Monte.

Apple's App Store, as well as podcasts and iBooks, were already available in Brazil.

To further sweeten the pot, Apple is offering customers in Brazil access to "thousands of movies to rent or purchase" via iTunes. The available movies come from major studios 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Universal Pictures, among others.

Apple is also bringing its music and movies to customers across 15 other countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Bolivia, and Colombia.

However, the company's focus on Brazil is rather telling. Over the last several quarters, Brazil has become a key growth area for Apple. In fact, the company said during its last earnings call in October that sales in that country are up 118 percent year over year and hit $900 million during its fiscal fourth quarter.

Apple production partner Foxconn is also reportedly considering investing as much as $12 billion in Brazil to build Apple's iPod, iPhone, and iPad in that country.