By David Vranicar TechNewsWorld 12/04/12 8:36 AM PT
Today in international tech news: iTunes doubles its coverage with 56 new countries, including Russia. Also: Dropbox, like so many U.S. Internet companies before it, is setting up an international office in Ireland; the iPhone 5 is primed for huge expansions; and the U.S. Ambassador reaffirms the stance that the UN Conference on International Telecommunications shouldn’t meddle with the Internet.
The iTunes store has opened up in Russia and a slew of other countries that were previously left off its coverage map.
According to Cnet, the 56-country expansion nearly doubles the number of countries in which iTunes is now available. Turkey, India and South Africa were also part of the launch, which Apple says will feature local and international music targeted at specific audiences.
Cnet pegs Russia as one of the greatest challenges to Apple’s music sector. Russia not only boasts a handful of legitimate downloading services, but is also one of the world’s hotbeds for piracy.
Dropbox Eyes Dublin for Second Office
Online storage and syncing provider Dropbox plans to open its first international office in Dublin, Ireland, according to AllThingsD.
The international push for Dropbox makes sense. The majority of its 100 million users are from abroad, and one-third are from Europe, CEO Drew Houston said. Getting into a different time zone helps the company as well, as the Dublin office will handle myriad tasks — sales account management, user operations, support, etc. — that are best carried out during the workday. Ireland is eight hours ahead of California.
AllThingsD doesn’t quote Houston discussing Ireland’s tax rates, but that, too, could be an incentive for Dropbox. A handful of U.S.-based Internet companies have also set up shop in Ireland, which has a more palatable corporate tax rate than most other western European countries.
Ireland has a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, compared to 35 percent in the U.S. and somewhere between 20 to 30 percent in the UK.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are among the companies that save billions in taxes each year by using Irish subsidiaries. Government officials in the UK and Australia, among other places, have called out U.S. companies that skirt taxes, albeit legally, by operating out of Ireland.