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Apple’s iBookstore to go live in 18 more countries

Here’s how we know for sure that Apple will be showing off the new iPad mini at today’s hype event.  Right before the mini is set to unveil, Apple’s iBookstore has extended its service to 18 more countries.

AppleInsider was notified by an Australia-based iBooks label that their backend system listed 18 new countries as “pending”.  These countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

Most of the countries on the pending list is in South America—some with growing economies, and some stagnant.  Nonetheless, expansion of iBooks into South America means that Apple sees potential, and a “budget” slate (rumored going price of $329 for 16GB iPad mini) fits the living standards of the region.

Despite the news, the publisher also noted that books won’t be immediately available to the new areas.

“iTunes Connect is showing their status as pending for contract reasons, although I’m quite certain that they’ll trigger to available during [today’s] keynote.  This is quite a big jump for iBooks,” said the source.

Also per the same source, the addition of the 18 countries brings the tally up to 50 countries that now support iBookstore sales.

Amazon currently leads the pack with its digital distribution system, and the reasonably priced Kindle devices only help to drive that dominance in the e-book market even further.

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