Apple is increasing its presence in South Africa with the opening of an in-country Internet store.

The South African Apple Store – ZA Store – is not run by Apple – it is run by Apple's SA distributor, the Core Group, and is part of an overall retail shake-up to bring greater exposure of Apple products throughout the country, according to allAfrica.

ZA Store manager Lionel Koblenz told allAfrica: "Internationally, Apple online stores have formed an important link in retail strategy, and we fully expect the South African store to provide new Apple users with a fast and convenient online channel. In addition, shipments to all South African addresses are currently free of charge."

Following the store launch, Apple's next big project in SA is said to be opening an iTunes Music Store.

The Core Group MD Rodney Ichikowitz said: "Apple plans to export its iTunes concept to Western Europe during the next two to three months, and while plans for a South African version are not yet clear, some homework has been done on the issue.

"The South African music industry is very different from the US or Western Europe's. For instance, South African consumers prefer compilations rather than whole albums and this affects their spending patterns."