The good news for Australians from Apple’s overnight announcements? At $31.99, the forthcoming OS X Lion update is only marginally more than in the US (where it is $29.99). The bad news? The iTunes Match service — which lets you sync music you haven’t purchased from iTunes into Apple’s new iCloud storage service — is currently US-only.
The fact that Australians pay more for lots of iContent despite ongoing near parity between the US and Australian dollar has long been a source of complaint, so it’s nice to see the disparity reduced a little. (I had originally assumed it was actually cheaper since some US stories pegged the price at $37 — d’oh!) The update is due in July, and will be a Mac App Store only release.
The fact that iTunes Match won’t be available immediately — confirmed with the brief phrase “(US only)” in the Australian press release — is annoying, but not entirely unexpected. Apple’s content plays rarely get rolled out on a global basis. You can set up your own US iTunes account, of course, but that might cause problems when it comes to cloud syncing Australia-only tracks. We’ll have to wait and see.