[Feature] Making Sense Of Why Malaysia Gets Apple Products Later Than Liechtenstein

Comments (59)
  1. Chris says:

    And that is the reason why Apple is losing market share in Malaysia, due to their own undoing…

  2. TD says:

    you want pay more for first batch, or slightly less for 2nd or 3rd batch? RM2800+ for latest IP you want?

  3. Kesper says:

    Hello, perhaps next time you put up a comparison bar chart, highlight the important bars (in this case, Malaysia), in a different color. Tengkiu.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Thanks for the suggestion buddy, that was an oversight!

  4. Eugene says:

    How did you come across the conclusion that Apple is loosing market share in MY? True there is more variety than before but there is just as many people buying iPhones these days as long lines and pre-order q for the iPhone 5.

    Apple makes the devices, so Apple gets to decide where they want to launch first and it makes economic sense to launch in countries where there is higher purchasing power first.

  5. zan says:

    apple definitely wants to release it first in the markets where it can chalks up good sales number in the first few days. it’s marketing. notice how with every release, their sales numbers improved compared to the last version? also the fact that they are slowly adding countries into wave 1 so that the numbers will always be higher than the previous launch.

    on another note, our purchasing power is low, and many are still tied to contracts with no way of renewing/extending the contract to get a new phone, nor are there any incentives to do so.

  6. Thomas says:

    Malaysia so poor…. really explains everything doesn’t it?

  7. Yusri says:

    aiyo bro Lucas chill lah, calm down calm down pls.. just iphone je, no big fuss or anything, its not something mighty like samsung Note 3 or lumia 1020… alamak yo… cool down everyone, even if arrive next year oso no problem mah, such a lousy and over-price device…

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      I think this addresses a little more than “just iPhone” because it’s very prevalent with other products as some people have pointed out. Let’s not forget how long the Lumia 900 came to market in Malaysia or the HTC One / X. The Xbox 360 still isn’t official here.

      It’s not about the phone who made it, it’s more about the entire state of the industry/country.

  8. sadFace says:

    While we get Note 3 release so early, and iPhone so late, with the price increase of iPhone at launch, while Note 3 launch price is same, I don’t know why?..

  9. C says:


    Good analysis. But I think GDP/capita is not the only thing they look at.

    Look at China. GDP/capita & penetration is lower than Malaysia but they are still in Wave 1, as per your chart.

    Perhaps other variables are factored in also? Perhaps population and with some formula of calculations?

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      We were looking at that and figured China and Puerto Rico were outliers from the rest due to other influences. I’m in no means saying our study was complete and set in stone.

      China, in my opinion was a strategic partnership more than anything. With a huge populous, the GDP Per Capita Average is bound to be reduced. With Puerto Rico, I’m not sure about that one.

      The other outliers which i thought were odd were the arab countries in Wave 3. That could be due to regulation, but I’m not sure again.

      Thanks for your comment =)

  10. hellfried says:

    Really impressed with this piece of investigative reporting. This issue has irked me for the longest time and I already had a suspicion that our buying power is the culprit. Thanks for confirming it. At the end of the day its all about dollars and cents (or the lack thereof).

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Hey thanks for the compliment man…

      This piece honestly began as a satirical look at the countries which were getting it before us and how unjust it was. As soon as we crunched the numbers, we knew that there was something there. Safe to say I never knew that the population of Liechtenstein was so connected! =)

  11. aBg_rOnGak says:

    Don’t lie la…Malaysia all rich one….Middle income one can buy condo/bungalow and have Ferraris/Lamborghini….

  12. Dii says:

    Total expected sales is more accurate and you require gdp per capita, population, and mobile penatration and fan base factor to get that number.

  13. Danny says:

    Can la, if Malaysia have got more cronnies in you and me, then we can make it. But as of now, only limited amount of people is Datuks, YB, YAB, etc etc… So our top percentile is small compared to other country where the people make a decent living and have got enough spare cash…

    Our government need to create more cronnies and not just depend on the few cronies.

  14. hadzGBN says:

    does the author take consideration of custom regulation and paperwork might be the case? or perhaps there is restriction on imported device that need to be settled first before a product can be brought in? this may be a factor as well, it cant alone base on the gdp, might be coincidence..fact is, we dont know how apple thinks…

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      That may be the case, but my question is how about other devices that we get first in the world like the Z30 or close to first like the HTC One X… To be honest i was asking myself your question too =)

      Thanks for the comment!

  15. TIKI TAKA says:

    iPhone has bigger market share in Singapore so Singaporeans get it first.

    Samsung products have bigger market share in Malaysia so we Malaysians get them first.

    Not sure why China get it in the first wave, perhaps it has lots of potential there.

    Just my 2 cents…

  16. Reg says:

    view from global launch slide of launch date seems depend on certain quantity religion country are not in the list

  17. dumdeedoo says:

    Why they launch late in Malaysia?


    Malaysia is a pirate market. We will buy parallel imported phones at skyrocket prices from SG just to get one early.

    Then when they launch it here, it is the balance phone from SG that they cannot sell.

  18. e1 says:

    …there is something still hooking consumer hearts for the expensive iPhone until today.

    I believed is the quality and number of apps. in GooglePlay. For example, I wish to download Street Fighter game from GooglePlay, unfortunately it is not available.

  19. alex says:

    We r among the richest people in this earth. Look at the amount we pay for a CBU car. But this car is everywhere. So this apple people never do their homework. But if they included us maybe the production line can’t cope with the demand.

  20. CY LOK says:

    I guess Apple see us as a poor 3rd world country (which we are), that the main reason for the last batch.

    Should learn to appreciate that at least we get to have it.

  21. PM says:

    It is because Malaysia is filled with ignorant people who look down other countries and never look at themselves when trying to comparing themselves with other far advanced countries.

  22. Apelsak says:

    This proves that Malaysian are not mindless sheep…
    iphone is only used by stupid people and they are making the right choices by putting us in low priority..

  23. stretch says:

    Wow. So many angry people. All for a phone.

  24. Ad says:

    It’s all about the sales. Apple wont ships millions of units here to Malaysia, and only sell thousands of it. The queue in Malaysia for the iPhone/iPad are mostly concentrated in big cities like KL/JB/Penang. And also not everyone in Malaysia can afford to pay big bucks for an iPhone and especially sign under expensive contracts from Maxis/Celcom/Digi.

    Another factor to consider, is the time it takes for service provider to tie up with Apple to sell those products, Maxis/Celcom/Digi needs to earn too since Malaysia dont have any official Apple Store.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Your first point is absolutely spot on! However your second, I’m thinking how about the authorized resellers like Machines and iStudio and stuff? I’m sure they get fast tracked somehow

  25. firebld says:

    Its not really matters anymore. I used to line up wee hours for Iphone 4. Now that I’m on android bandwagon, who cares. Apple has loss Steve Job, and loss the edge that goes with it.

  26. Joedpa82 says:

    User of 3gs, ipad 1, iphone5 and ipad mini. What still irks me is why the hell we cant buy books on itunes.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Fellow iPad 1 user here T_T

  27. David Lee says:

    Very angry when Apple pushed out a new iOS with a new iPad and I find out that my iPad1 can’t update, but then several important apps drop dead because cannot be updated, cannot continue using because the serverside changed, and the new iPad won’t be available for two months even though it already launched in Singapore. What does Apple want me to do then?

    It wasn’t fair to me. Either live without the apps for two months, or buy a outdated iPad3? Or sell off my kidney to import an iPad4? (Luckily, my uncle intervened and got me an iPad4 from Singapore before I went to sell my kidney). If Apple had launched the iPad4 the same day in Malaysia, I would’ve went for it on launch day.

  28. tcmeaN says:

    Eyes pain.. if Malaysia could be highlighted in the charts..

  29. ME says:

    I think it’s their preference.

    Thailand and the rich middle east countries are missing as well.

    Would be great if they can execute worldwide distribution perfectly like Samsung.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      The Middle Eastern countries on the 3rd wave was very surprising to me too!

  30. ME says:

    South Korea is missing from the list as well !!!

    Not only Malaysia, Thailand, rich middle east countries, Russia, India, Brazil.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      South Korea is in Wave 2 =)

  31. Rayman says:

    Too many grey importers from SG buying phone thus increasing the number of sales in Singapore.

    We should just stop buying from them and buy from local distributor instead.

  32. Lifequotes says:

    I guess it’s mainly due to the price structure in Malaysia. Traditionally it has been cheapest place to buy an Apple “i” products in Malaysia compare to the rest of the World, even in the US 😉

    Check this site on on the comparison of the devices…

    This is prior to iPad Air and the link below that is the one after. Unfortunately at this time iPad air prices wasn’t announce yet in the Malaysian market…



    Hope this is useful….

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Dude, thanks for that as well! We’ve got a similar table in our drafts and am grateful that someone else is out there doing the same sorta thing we are!

  33. Insider says:

    Interesting figures, but doesn’t explain the real reason. We can sell easily 15k iPhones on launch day (all telcos combined, plus outlets like Harvey Norman, Sen Heng etc). Apple even sells the iPhone direct from their Malaysian website.

    The real reason: all new phones need SIRIM approval. SIRIM approval takes 1 month. That’s why we’re always in the 2nd or 3rd wave, one month after Singapore.

    1. Lifequotes says:

      Ahhh… That makes sense why they are able to launch Macbooks the same date with other main cities but not iPhones and iPads… SIRIM still exists?? Dam… 😉

    2. kzm says:

      No wrong….SIRIM AP approval is fairly fast…if phone maker already done testing other place..phone will not hav to do the same test hete in malaysia..SiRIM approval done through official distributor or license holder….

  34. anon says:

    author of this article, please la, highlight Malaysia in the graph can or not?? put it in orange, red or whatever colour la. and put fewer sample in the graph lar, everything cramped like canned sardine. no need list out all country de ok?

    1. Internet says:

      The author is trying to emphasize on their point that we are THAT low in the market, you got problem is it? If cannot see, move your cursor to the image, click on it and the image will enlarge. TADAA! MAGIC!

    2. Lucas Lau says:

      Thanks for your feedback but we definitely needed to list out ALL the countries to illustrate our point. Will improve our graphs next time!

  35. chuck says:

    iPhone is not worth it, just Apple ripping people off year after years. Buy Android or Windows Phone lah.

  36. tom says:

    agree with chuck…come on la.we got a lot option…way better as well. open your mind and eye please

  37. kng says:

    as hadzGBN mentioned above about customs regulations and paperwork thing, how about approval from SIRIM maybe also another factor why we are late in getting these iDevices?

    or as simple as that we are not big and strong economy country compared to Singapore… just look at how many multinational company setup their regional office in Singapore can prove this…

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Wouldn’t Apple give these products to Sirim before the launch like the FCC in the US? It’s a good point you raise if not =)

  38. tax says:

    Why iPhone 5s price higher than iPhone 5 before? Price different about rm 200 something. Do you know why?

  39. Ana Miskin says:

    Can someone lend me RM20, I’ll give you my girlfriend….

  40. Kev Song says:

    I beg to differ. Eventhough Singapore and Hong Kong has way higher GDP per capita than Malaysia, but at the end of the day it about how many Iphones they can sell. To put it simple, China has way lower GDP per capita than HK or SG, but with the huge population, I’m sure Apple sells way more Iphones than HK and SG combine. It’s not like the richer people in HK and SG will each buy 2 or 3 Iphones just because they can afford. Similarly, I would rather believe Apple actually sell more Iphones in Malaysia than Singapore.

  41. sandeep says:

    i think it does not depends on GDP with the simple logic that more people in Malaysia buying iPhone than Singapore and Hong Kong. I think the more likely reasons are combination of strategic move (China), developed countries is a must for reputation, and throw in baki all those smaller countries like Singapore to make up a healthy big list of release countries.

  42. Ahmed says:

    I believe Malaysia should one of the market which have to introduce this product on the launching date. According to my research I can see a big market share to this brand compare to others in this country.

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