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Jul 28 2009

Holy App Attack, Batman!

For those keeping track…the official countdown to my first-ever iPhone is T-minus 3 days and I freely admit that I am embarrassingly excited about it.

In preparation for its arrival, I spent some time cruising around the App Store over the weekend. I've read a lot of stories about how overwhelming the experience can be (there are something like 26,000 applications available) and how challenging it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, so it made sense to get an early start.

Based on earlier research and recommendations from other iPhone owners, I very quickly had 25 apps parked in iTunes ready for transfer to my new baby on the first sync. And then I talked to my American pal Misfit Duck, AKA Buzz-kill Betty, who said I might run into a problem getting them to run on my 3 Sweden iPhone since I had downloaded them from the US iTunes Store. DOH!! She bases this on the fact that she could not create a US iTunes Store account from here in Sweden despite having a US-based credit card.

To be honest, I'd kind of forgotten that my iTunes account was with the US store. I've had it for years (since long before I moved to Sweden) and it's connected to an American Express card that's billed to my "official" US address. Once I got a Swedish bank account/credit card, I just never felt compelled to switch it over…primarily because until I bought my first iPod last year, I rarely ever used the iTunes program let alone the iTunes Store.

And even when Apple changed the Terms of Use to require US iTunes Store customers to reside in the US, I justified ignoring it because 99% of the stuff I downloaded (mostly podcasts) was free. So far I've had no issues getting the US downloads to transfer and play on the iPod Nano, but the iPhone is a different animal since it's locked to a Swedish mobile network, and there are rumours that your iTunes Store account needs to match the country of your mobile network provider in order for the apps to work on the phone. Oops.

So I hit Google hard looking for answers but could not find anything definitive despite using a number of different search parameters. Pouring over conversations on a number of Mac Forums, I found tons of advice on how folks living outside the US could create a US iTunes store account without a US-based credit card…but nothing specifically addressing my anticipated problem.

So I've now stopped downloading apps (several of which were paid versions) until I find out whether or not I need to switch my iTunes account to the Swedish Store…in which case I'll have to download the initial 25 all over again. In the meantime, I'm still sifting through apps and building a list I'd like to have from one store or the other. So far the number is up to 28 apps. How many do you have?

Feed my ego!

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