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Apple to expand iBookstore to 18 new countries

New Zealand and a host of Latin American countries are set to get their own branches of the electronic bookstore sometime today.

Apple's iBookstore.
Apple's iBookstore. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Apple's iBookstore is going live in 18 new countries, according to AppleInsider and other tech blog sites.

Citing information from an Australia-based iBooks label, AppleInsider said that the countries in line for iBookstore are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. Those 18 would bring the total number of iBookstore-supported countries to 50.

The expansion of iBookstore comes on the same day that Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Mini. The company also is reportedly aiming to push the education angle with its new tablet, Bloomberg said recently.

Unveiled in January, Apple's iBooks2 introduced a "new textbook experience," designed to offer interactive high-school textbooks at a cost of $14.99 or less. At the time, Apple launched its iBooks Author app, which lets people self-publish e-books. iTunes U also was updated to let instructors put entire courses online and even post syllabi and messages for students.

CNET's live coverage of Apple's event today