Apple yesterday launched its iTunes Store service in New Zealand, confirming a week of expectation.

The company also launched its own dedicated online Apple Store for the country. Previously, its sales had been wholly handled by distributor, Renaissance.

"We're thrilled to bring the iTunes Store and the online Apple Store to our customers in New Zealand just in time for the holidays," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes.

"With over two million songs, the iTunes Store features the largest catalogue of local and international music in New Zealand."

In New Zealand, iTunes charges NZ$1.79 per song, music videos cost NZ$3.59 and most albums are NZ$17.99. Exclusive music featured on iTunes includes tracks from New Zealand artists Fat Freddy's Drop, Brooke Fraser, Tim Finn, The Datsuns and Bic Runga as well as extensive catalogues from New Zealand greats including Shihad, Crowded House, The Black Seeds, Breaks Co-Op, Elemeno P and Dei Hamo.

The company also launched the (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition iPod nano in New Zealand yesterday.