Why can I gift internationally with Amazon... but not iTunes?

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Earlier today Apple enabled iBooks gifting. It's been a long time coming. Steve Jobs introduced the iBookstore alongside the original iPad in 2010, and it's taken until well after the 5th generation, iPad Air, shipped in 2013 for gifting to become available. I was ecstatic at first, because I'd been "forced" to use Amazon's Kindle service to gift ebooks until now. Finally, I thought, I could gift iBooks. But I thought too soon. Apple and iTunes, I quickly remembered, only allows gifting to someone who uses the same regional account you do. So, for example, I can only gift an iBook - or iTunes song or movie or App Store app or whatever - from the iTunes Canada store my account is in, to someone who also uses the iTunes Canada store. That eliminates a ton of my friends who just happen to live in the U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere. Amazon, by contrast, not only lets me use my Amazon.ca account to login to Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk, but it lets me gift Kindle books, send gift certificates, and even order real material goods, for friends in those countries. In this increasingly important way, Amazon is absolutely pantsing Apple and iTunes.

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