THE MAKER OF SHINY TOYS, Apple has allowed fanbois outside of the US to access the Ipad App Store.
The velvet ropes parted and brought forward a localised version of the App Store to British punters, the ones who still cannot purchase a device to access the store. Until now fanbois who brought the device over from the States had to use an Itunes account that had a US based credit card attached to it. Now those restrictions have been lifted, allowing access by accounts that have cards registered in the UK.
The regional differences aren't simply limited to swapping the dollar for the pound, as a number of applications are unavailable from the US store. Given the amount of region specific content on the US App Store, it's not particularly surprising that applications from content providers such as the American television network, ABC, aren't available to UK punters. However, more worrying for those fanbois who splashed the cash on alternative Itunes accounts, is the fact that applications are not bound to the device itself.
Although accounts can be swapped easily, applications, whether free or otherwise, are attached to a particular account and not the device. This means that, should fanbois change over to their UK Itunes accounts, applications obtained using US accounts cannot be updated. Those who try to update will be served a typical Jobsian message.
The message, saying the account is valid for access to the US Itunes store, doesn't seem to make sense in the context when it is displayed. However, upon displaying the message, it reverts the Itunes account back to the US account used to download the applications. No problem with that, unless access to that account has been restricted.
For fanbois here in Blighty, all this means that if they have splashed the cash using a US Itunes account, they will have to stick with it otherwise they will end up with a device that has older versions of applications and crippled functionality. But given they have been using the Ipad for a while, its quite possible they won't even notice.
Apple has already put the Ipad's UK launch back twice and is now saying that the most eager fanbois who pre-ordered the device will get their hands on their shiny new toy by May 28, with great unwashed to have their chance starting on June 7.
The firm seems to have compensated for the delay by launching the App Store a week early, possibly having realised that enough of the devices were smuggled out of the US to make it worth its while. µ