iPod Overseas Report: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | iLounge Article

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iPod Overseas Report: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Read Parts I, II, and IV: iPod Overseas Report: Tokyo, iPod Overseas Report: Singapore, and Backstage: Asian Gadgetry and the Future of iPod?.

A report on the presence of iPods in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur could conclude in a single paragraph: unlike Tokyo, Japan and Singapore, the subjects of our last two reports, iPods are quite nearly invisible in this city of 1.5 million people. The most likely reason: surprisingly high prices in a country that, while rapidly modernizing, is still far below the economic levels of its most prosperous neighbors. So should you bother reading on? We think that the answer is yes, if only because there are some interesting details here nonetheless.

On December 24, 2005, the temperature in Kuala Lumpur peaked at around 88 degrees - a tropical quantum of warmth that precludes any local “winter wonderland” or “white Christmas.” But as the saying goes, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” With 58% humidity and 70% cloud cover - common here in monsoon season - the air feels thick and wet, and the constant moistness of your skin draws your attention from the fact that light still pokes through the gray skies.

When you look up, however, you see all the evidence of what the travel guides invariably call “an Asian tiger that roars,” with architectural symbols of “astounding growth… over the last two decades” - a city filled with proud, decent people. Multi-ethnic and multi-religious but predominantly indigenous Muslim, the population has seen its city evolve from humble roots in tin mining into one of Southeast Asia’s leading high-tech capitals. Monorails above the streets link to commuter metro trains and distance rails to move people to jobs and tourist destinations, and like their equivalents in Japan and Singapore, public transport here is clean and generally orderly. Signs implore you to beware of pickpockets, but otherwise, the transit lines are efficient and safe.

What you don’t notice on any of these public transports are throngs of people with earbuds. In fact, the compartments and stations are relatively quiet, yet from corner to corner of each, you’ll notice that most of the ears are empty, even people who are traveling alone. Once in a while, you’ll see kids play with Game Boy Advance SPs. And some people fidget with cellular phones - mostly Nokias and Samsungs. More on that in a moment.

But there are comparatively few people using portable music players. On the most packed train we’ve been on during our travels in Kuala Lumpur, we counted a record four people wearing headphones, mostly lanyard-style ones, and none of them iPod white. Across several days of travel and exploration, we counted literally three total iPods amidst the hundreds of people we’ve seen, two of them clearly owned by foreigners.

To make the point again, this contrasts markedly with what we’ve seen in our travels in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere in Asia, where hard disk-based iPods from the 3G, 4G and mini generations are far more commonly seen than shuffles or nanos. In Malaysia, we’ve seen flash-based iRivers, a Creative Zen Micro, something from Philips, and a couple of off-brand players, nearly all of which either hung from the wearer’s neck or used a neck-level remote control with the player in his or her pocket. One teenager carried a small CD-based boombox - thankfully turned off - onto a train.

Stores here somewhat, but not entirely mirror what we’ve seen on the streets. Creative Labs and Sony have a very significant presence in all of the places we’ve visited - a list that includes “Asia’s largest shopping centre,” the Mid-Valley Megamall, numerous malls and shops around Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, including Berjaya Times Square, Imbi Plaza, Low Yat Plaza, Suria KLCC and Sungei Wang Plaza, Chinatown, and elsewhere in the city.

Given the strength of these competing products’ retail presence, the most interesting thing is how few of the devices people actually appear to be buying and using. Sony’s Network Walkman and Walkman Bean are in dozens of stores, for example, but no one seems to care about them. This, despite Sony’s official advertisements claiming that its 20GB Network Walkman is the #1 “hit model” in Japan (closeup above, and same for smaller Walkman in preceding photo at right); we suppose this funny claim was easier than Sony’s old tactic, namely inventing a fake critic to say how great its products are.

Creative Technology has similarly done a very good job of getting its products into places where people are. In addition to company-sponsored stores such as this one, there are many, many Creative-branded flash and hard disk players in shops. Even at retailers that also carry the iPod, both displays and clerks seem to be focused on Creative products first, with iPods playing at best a secondary role. This isn’t because most comparable Creative products are cheaper, but rather because certain models - especially the low-end ones - are.

iPods, by comparison, seem to require a bit more effort to locate. In many major stores we’ve seen, the iPod isn’t available at all, but CD players and inexpensive competing MP3 players are. There aren’t any Apple Stores here, and they’re nowhere near as common a fixture at smaller vendors as they were in, say, Singapore. In fact, smaller vendors have very little to do with the iPod here.

This isn’t to say that the iPod is entirely missing in action in Kuala Lumpur - if you want one, you can go a little out of your way to find them locally (such as by looking online for approved retailers), though availability at even these stores is somewhat of a question mark. At major electronics stores such as Best Denki (above), current and discontinued iPods were being advertised, yet were limited in availability - one store was “sold out” of 5G iPods, but had color-screened 4Gs, while the other was out of shuffles and 4GB nanos, but had 5G iPods and older iPod minis in two colors.

In fact, a surprising number of stores - including authorized Apple resellers - had color 4G iPods and minis in stock, and posters for these discontinued models, while newer iPods were spotty. Before you get too excited about the “sold out” phrase and this spotty availability, it’s important to note that the total amount of space the big stores devote to iPods is small, so having models out of stock may not be quite as good a sign as one might initially assume.

The most impressive display of iPod hardware we saw was at a shop called iPod Station in the Golden Triangle shopping area. Apparently an Apple-authorized store - with iPod in its name, no less - the Station was one of the only retailers we saw with a significant number of accessories for sale. Most shops carried only iPod hardware, while a few others had cases, official Apple accessories, and Altec Lansing iM7s, and a few more had cases, Apple accessories, iM7s, and a few other options (such as iPALs and car chargers).

As in Singapore, the local Apple dealers here - including official Apple Centres - carry a mix of legit and knock-off stuff. We’ve seen yet another clone of Apple’s iPod nano Armband here, this time from a company called Et-cetera, and plenty of i-Steroid speakers, plus cases from some of Asia’s least reputable vendors. Belkin is better represented here than most U.S. companies, though even its products are relatively few in number; accessories from Griffin, XtremeMac, and DLO are essentially non-existant locally.

All of this leads to a three-stage chicken-and-egg question: would it be worth Apple’s while to flood Malaysia with more iPods and accessories, given that some people here seem to be using competing digital media players, but more often no such devices at all? Put another way, is there a place for the iPod in a country where earbuds aren’t yet popular? In our view, the answer is yes, but perhaps in two different ways than in other countries we’ve visited.

Clearly, this isn’t a technophobic population. Malaysia not only specializes in the manufacture and export of high-tech electronic products, but it consumes them - here, predominantly mobile phones and computers. In fact, the mobile phone industry here - particularly its massive distribution network, which has an incredible street and mall presence - is staggering.

Some of the malls here have literally multiple tens of phone shops, many official resellers, and they’re loaded with Nokia, Sony, Samsung, and yes, Motorola phones. As in Singapore, these shops are already selling Motorola’s latest SLVR and PEBL phones, which carriers haven’t yet released in the United States. Since people in Malaysia clearly like their mobile phones, and these phones are so widely available and marketed, this may be the best possible place to sell an inexpensive iTunes phone to build iPod awareness. (We don’t think that this is as viable a strategy in other countries, but here, it makes sense.) Past ROKR debacle aside, there is unquestionably some value in using Motorola’s existing vendor channels over here - at least, for the right product.

The real problem for an iPod (qua iPod) in Kuala Lumpur appears to be price. iPods are sold here at markups of 30-40% over their US numbers, which means that a 512MB iPod shuffle sells for the equivalent of $128, and 60GB iPods for $555. Even discontinued models sell for prices higher than their original US prices, and discounts on current models are rare: local Apple Centres offer no discounts on hardware, but a $15 credit towards a same-day accessory purchase, or 10% discount on AppleCare; other dealers offer the equivalent of $6 off the price of a 2GB iPod nano.

Now consider that the average annual salary in Malaysia is under $5000 - 1/9 that of the United States, 1/8 that of Japan, and 1/5 that of Singapore. This single difference hugely explains the popularity of low-end players here, and why you don’t see Sony’s hard disk-based Network Walkman all over the place in Kuala Lumpur, either; most stores other than Sony’s own locations don’t even carry it. Many of the flash-based devices here sell for $200 or less, which is far more within reach of the population. Yes, the country is modernizing and filled with impressive architecture, but average people don’t live in these towers, and their incomes can’t easily afford iPods.

Apple, or at least its local affiliates, seem to grasp this - sort of. Local radio personality Rudy from Hitz.fm is fronting an aspirational “All I Want for Christmas is an iPod” campaign, which seems to be the only (but not insignificant) local advertising the iPod’s getting here. We’re not fans of the “save until you can afford the crazy high price” concept - price parity is better - but this may be the best that local resellers can do, at least for now. Plus, the iPod’s name is getting out there.

An alternative would be to push more aggressively to popularize lower-cost flash-based devices here instead of (or in addition to) iTunes phones. Lower-capacity iPod nanos and a new iPod shuffle/replacement would be the easy way to do this. It’s obvious that size and wearability are major considerations in this country, and Apple has these bases covered as well as anyone; the problem’s mostly pricing. That, we think, is the reason we’ve see people wearing lanyard MP3 players here, but they’re neither shuffles nor nanos.

One ancillary issue is content. It’s been obvious in our travels that people here love music - with our earbuds in, we’ve been stopped randomly, quizzed on our music tastes, and given suggestions by locals. (Thanks to the Petronas Towers crew for the Too Phat recommendation; we picked up two disc sets and are listening right now.) But piracy appears to be a fairly serious issue here. A radio announcement we heard implored people to actually pay for CDs - especially for Malaysian artists - rather than swap files or buy copies at the numerous disc duplicating shops found in local malls. Even DVDs of past and current movies can be had for $2 each at these shops, making the $10 prices of CDs and $15-20 prices of DVDs a comparative challenge for consumers here. There’s no iTunes Music Store in Malaysia, but even if there were, would people pay to download anything? Perhaps it doesn’t matter; there was a reason for the iPod before the iTunes Music Store.

Of course, we don’t claim to have the answers, but it’s obvious that Malaysia presents an interesting set of challenges for Apple as it prepares for the next stage of the iPod’s growth. While we’re not seeing white earbuds on the subways, on the streets, or in shopping malls, we’re also not seeing so many black or silver ones that the right iPod (or iTunes phone) would have a problem sweeping this population. The biggest question in our minds is whether Apple wants to see that happen, and is willing to do what’s necessary to see that it does.

We hope you enjoyed this look at the iPod in Malaysia. Our previous iPod Overseas Reports on Tokyo, Japan and Singapore are still online. Want to contribute a report from your city? E-mail jeremy (at) iLounge.com. Otherwise, we will look forward to your comments.

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Comments

1

While I agree with your broad findings/analysis, an important difference between KL and Tokyo or Singapore lies in the relative usage of public transporation.

Unlike Tokyo or Singapore, relatively more people in KL drive rather than take public transport.  Many people in KL who can afford an iPod probably own a car.

Thus, surveying public transport users probably underestimates the prevalence of iPods.

Second, the affordability issue is not solely about price, but about the availability of alternative access to music.  If you already have a stereo at home and in your car, then the relatively expensive (by Malaysian standards) iPod becomes a “nice to have”.  You are more likely to spend on a laptop or mobile phone.

Posted by urbanguy1974 on December 24, 2005 at 12:00 PM (PDT)

2

I think we’re actually in complete agreement here - a couple of notes as to why.

Re: public transport - we considered that factor, and didn’t exclusively ‘survey’ public transport users so much as observe them alongside other people here. That said, there are certain places in public one would expect to see iPods if people had them - assuming that people don’t buy them and leave them in their cars all day - and they’re generally absent; the article only spotlights public transport because it’s a good proxy for the numerous other places we’ve visited.

Re: alternative access, completely agreed, hence the reference above to mobile phones. Trying to convince someone to spend their dollars on a standalone music player here may be a significant challenge, and therefore trojan horsing the iPod into a phone probably makes more sense for this market unless you can sell a very cheap shuffle-like iPod that’s competitive with local alternatives.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 24, 2005 at 4:30 PM (PDT)

3

While I don think the USA, EU, Aust, etc markets need a 1GB nano, maybe there is a strong case for South East Asia.

Further - manufacturing a 1GB nano in malaysia exclusively for SE Asia would cut the price (less transport, logistics, taxes, etc) and allow apple to penetrate the HUGE combined market of malaysia, singapore, indonesia, vietnam and thailand.

Posted by dmw on December 24, 2005 at 6:39 PM (PDT)

4

Nice article Jeremy. I’m living in Malaysia and my opinion is the iPod price here is relatively high compared to other music players available here. I once ask the the Apple sales representitive in Malaysia on why the iPod prices here are higher compared to other countries. Guess what, my country imposed entertainment tax on these iPods. There’s nothing the apple stores here can do about it. On the positive note, the iPod fenomena here is growing.

Posted by smudger14 on December 25, 2005 at 3:13 AM (PDT)

5

Nice report. However, I would like to shed some light on the iPod popularity in Malaysia.

the ipod brand is very much alive in many teenagers and 20 somethings in malaysia. as smudger14 has said, malaysian government imposes a entertainment tax on audio/video equipments, hence the hefty price. price is really a factor here in malaysia. the fact is, many people who wants to own an ipod prefer to buy it in the US or Singapore. there are some who went to the extent of organizing a bulk buy, meaning a person would purchase some 20 or 30 ipods during a business trip to singapore or the US and sell it with a bit of a profit, but still lower than the retail price in malaysia. apple has international warranty, so buying it from another country is not much of a concern.

another factor includes the availability of apple stores. i live in a different state from KL, and there’s no apple stores in my state. in fact, i have to travel all the way to KL just to get my ipod.

Posted by confuzan on December 25, 2005 at 4:16 AM (PDT)

6

It was interesting to see this article on Malaysia. On the whole I agree on a lot of points in Jeremy’s article and from all the comments made here. As an expat (having lived in Malaysia for 25 yrs), I get my iPod from the US or wherever and whenever it suits me. Price is of no issue.

Good article!

Posted by dreamzcape on December 25, 2005 at 5:58 AM (PDT)

7

Great article.  It’s always interesting to find out about different places.

Posted by papayaninja on December 25, 2005 at 6:09 PM (PDT)

8

I live in Malaysia and I believe there’s argument from a lot of sides depending on how’d you want to look at it. But I do believe that the lack in iPod existence in Malaysia is due to only average income gained by many Malaysians.

Because of that, you tend to question yourself what’s a necessity and priority let aside the better interest you’d be paying for. That said, if you compared a car, a computer and the iPod. Most Malaysians would spend on the car and the computer then the iPod because not many Malaysians understand the whole investment of paying up RM900+ almost 1/4 of their pay just for a gadget.

I’m not sure if everyone would be able to understand how I’m trying to explain this. But those who either have iPods are the only people who could afford it in our country that still have employees only earning RM500 a month sometimes.

But I suppose we’ll get there, someday. smile

Posted by Danny Foo on December 25, 2005 at 8:12 PM (PDT)

9

Your article is spot on. The biggest barrier to the market adoption of iPods in Malaysia is the pricing of the devices. A 4Gb iPod Nano costs more than RM1000 which is a substantial portion of the monthly income of many people.

If Apple wants to build a significate share of the market, they do need to seriously review their pricing strategy in developing nations. Especially considering the iPod halo effect - iPod owners today will be Mac owners in the future especially in rapidly developing nations such as Malaysia.

Posted by Christopher Chan on December 26, 2005 at 5:57 AM (PDT)

10

hi, i have been living in Malaysia my whole life an im a teenager 16 to be exact. I own 2 ipods, ipod video 60gigs and a 1st Gen Mini.

I am one of the lucky few who actually own an ipod. i think ipods are the number here in Malaysia, everyone wants an ipod, and its increasingly and it is sitll the best selling mp3 on the market.

dont judge by people by the color of the headphones. i some times use my sony in ear headphones which are black.

well i know alot of people use shuffle, followed by the nanos and minis and the ipod is the worst selling one among all cause of its high price tag.

one way apple can do to accomodate to malaysian youth is to set up its popular student promotions here as well, it will boost its consumer ratings here over the top, i can bet you.

everyone wants an ipod!!! thats the catch line with apple now with a popular dj from a local radio station hitz.fm which plays all the latest tunes (thus hitting towards youth content). =D

well, i hope itunes will be able in malaysia soon, i will be the first customer to sign up for sure, i am willing to pay RM1- RM2 for a song. its reaseaonable that way, even so alot of people wont btoher paying, but a handful of people in Malaysia will, cause alot of P2P sharing software has alot of viruses and so on. and some download speeds are super slow. and addition selling videos of shows and stuff is a good thing. People will pay for the shows and so on.

Well, in my community Ipods are popular i at least know about 15 people have ipods, their families members too each have ipods, so it hink its quite widespread among my community!

Posted by Cristiano-Ronaldo-7 on December 26, 2005 at 6:46 AM (PDT)

11

you can’t seem much ipod because it is simply overpriced. and for your information, the government doesn’t get much from the ipods but in fact it is going to applemalaysia and to those dealers. i am just waiting for Apple to open their own store here in malaysia and not be monopolised by applemalaysia. if you guys check the price diff, compared to other countries (eg.US), you will notice a 25-30% price diff in apple products.

trust me, if the price were the same as the US or maybe even S’pore, you can see more ppl having it. A lot of malaysians do try to get their ipods from spore or even US. I am certainly one of them. I will be going to Spore for Chinese New Year and i am definite on getting a nano there. It is seriously not worth getting one here, though i work for a dealer who solely deals with apple products.

as for itunes store opening up in msia, to tell you the truth, i don’t see it happening in the next 5 years or maybe ever. With the high piracy rate going on, apple would rather concentrate on other countries, heck even the aussies just got it recently.

till the day, Apple decides to open up a retail store here, i wouldn’t be recommending anyone i know to get their ipods nor their apple products here. Why?
-expensive
-the service is bad (i only see a handful being so informative)
-when there’s a promotion, it is as good as not having one
-spore is cheaper, why even bother scouting for on in msia

by the way, nice report raspberry

Posted by peanutz on December 26, 2005 at 10:30 AM (PDT)

12

555$ for 60GB 5G? Kinda cheap. It’s about 620$ here in Poland… 512MB shuffle costs ~140 bucks. Despite this, iPods are quite popular (well, maybe not as popular as Creative Muvo players) - it’s easy to spot person with white earbuds on the streets of capital.

Posted by bauagan on December 26, 2005 at 4:11 PM (PDT)

13

First of, nice report on Malaysia.

There are some truths in your report and then some in the comments.

iPod is actually very popular in Malaysia. Especially, iPod shuffle. Among the teenagers, that is. It’s the more affordable ones. Anyhow, price is not really an issue here in Malaysia, yes, it is more expensive than other countries but… all MP3 players carry the same tax. Which made iPod, relatively cheaper than Sony or Samsung MP3. However, due to poor publicity and terrible marketing effort done by Apple Malaysia (which pretty much govern by Apple proper or is it Apple Asia) MP3 revolution in Malaysia is pretty much stolen by some generic MP3 player from companies that used to produce thumbdrive and what not. And most of this offering are in 128Meg and 256Meg config.

Speaking of Apple Malaysia, for the record, they are doing lousy effort to promote Apple product in Malaysia. Just imagine, Govt of Malaysia is spending RM600 million a year on education and Apple Malaysia only got one order of it (not even the full amount). Why? Because it’s passing it on to companies like Sapura and Time. Cost inflation and poor service. In truth, the computing in education in Malaysia is far bigger than state wide or county wide effort in US. 10,000 schools. 250,000 teachers. millions of students. All under one roof. No district. No county. No state. If Apple Malaysia can’t penetrate that simple (it’s forte biz) how do you expect it to do well promoting iPod in Malaysia.

Oh well…

P/S: Best Apple support in Malaysia is to walk up to anyone who use iBook or PowerBook at any hotspots and ask for their help.

Posted by abetam on December 26, 2005 at 4:16 PM (PDT)

14

hi..

I am malaysian living in New York and planning to come home for good in a few months. I was thinking of buying an Ipod in Malaysia but your article is gonna influence my decision.

Although living expenses is relatively cheap in malaysia, taxes are imposed on luxury products made overseas. That’s why you do not see a lot of the new Beemers, Mercs, Ferraris and such..

However cellphones are very trendy in Malaysia. In fact to my understanding, cellphone manufacturers (nokia, motorola) introduce their newest models in Malaysia before they even try to market it here in the United States. Some models that are now the latest in US have been selling in Malaysia for the past 1-2 years.

One must also consider that the price of CDs are also high in malaysia. And many who would buy Ipod might not have credit card to purchase itunes online. The concern about online security (identity theft) must also be addressed. The price of CD players and other portable listening equipement is also very competitive.

Malaysian will catch up if the price comes down. Or until the government gives us a tax break. Hopefully soon.

I will definitely buy mine here in New York.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Posted by Shawn Halim on December 26, 2005 at 11:04 PM (PDT)

15

Happy holidays people.

Nice article on iPod in foreign lands and it’s just even nicer to read one about its penetrations in my birthplace. I am currently resides in the UK and have a 3G iPod myself which I bought from Apple UK online store but been using it with a Sennheiser PX100 (black headphone) since day one. Your observations based on the colour of the earbud alone seems a bit flawed as apple supplied earphone isn’t the best around and for people who is fussy about quality (and concerns about their own safety) would definitely substitute the earphone with a better, if not less distinguished one.

I regularly read articles about Macs in China on macsimumsnews.com website and I definitely agree and found similarity about the problem of iPod (and other apple products) between the two. The main problem here in part, is the almost dormant role of local Apple reps. (Apple Asia Pacific and its alliances) especially on the marketing side. It is important to note though, the usages of apple computer in traditional sectors such as art+design/architecture in Malaysia is still significant even in universities. Beyond this and workplace however, the figure is a bit small as boring beige PC is relatively far more cheaper. If it is not by the help of Mac users like those mentioned in the article and from some of the comments here, I don’t think Apple products can survive. The other factor is of course the price. It is considered a luxury to own such products among common Malaysians esp. for those outside the big cities. For a country that actually make this sort of products (think apple pro keyboard or the HD for instance) and export them by the container loads, you would imagine they would be cheap.

The chicken and egg question remains a problem for Apple to tackle this but I think it won’t be long before we could see the turnaround. 2006 will be an interesting and hope more Malaysian iPod/Mac owners could help by persuading their peers/family in acquiring one. The push for an iPhone + iTunes would be even better. I am sure they don’t mind being the guinea pig on this.

Posted by size-9 on December 28, 2005 at 3:14 AM (PDT)

16

Nice article, most of your fact are right. btw apple malaysia did publish the srp (standard retail price) list fir apple products back then i compared it to the retail prices at some autthorized dealers n ney they are at least a MYR$100 more… just abit pricy for an average malaysian. i do own an ipod, it feels odd to listen to it in public areas, kind b’coz other ppl aint used to white headphones.

Posted by Chee Meng Au Yong on December 28, 2005 at 9:12 AM (PDT)

17

size-9, they have released an ipod phone for motorola called ROKR moto, its a white Motorola E398 with the itunes pre-installed in it.

Posted by Cristiano-Ronaldo-7 on December 30, 2005 at 12:07 AM (PDT)

18

Very nice articles of iPod news.
Hi, I am a Malaysian and recently just got back from S;pore and bought myself a 60Gb iPod video and an almost new mini iPod for my daughter.
For a saving of at least $500, I rather go down south to get it, it is really not worth getting it in M’sia.
The services provided by Orchard Apple Centre, a 1st class, they will answer all your questions and surprisingly, even go to an extra mile to teach you on how to operate if you are a new user like me.
Yes, I don’t forsee Apple Center operating here easily for the next 5 years.

Posted by Ramakristan on December 30, 2005 at 7:39 PM (PDT)

19

If price is the issue, then I can’t really expect an average Malaysian to purchase what is still consider a luxury product - like an iPod. That topic in itself is argumentative - so I won’t get into that. From the workshops I have done for both Apple and Adobe, I have come to gather that most Malaysians (to be fair, above a certain age) have an inert probia for the Apple brand and products - people have actually admitted this. However, I am pleased to see that a handful of younger generation are realising the potential of Macintosh OS and making a bolder stance to enjoying life, working and thinking smart. The choice is always left to the individual. No pain, no gain…

Posted by dreamzcape on January 1, 2006 at 5:17 PM (PDT)

20

Hi, I live in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and thanks for the article.

I just like to add a few comments.

First of all, I agree with most of the things that was written in this article. The tax thats slapped on iPods are ridiculous but what can we do. So I won’t get into that.

Another point that I like to make is that its true that you will not see much iPod action in trains or other kinds of public transport. Most of the people in the city will have their own cars. And those who take public transport would not be able to afford an iPod.

So that leaves us with people who can afford it. For eg, my office have 50 people working. 10 of us have an iPod. However, we hardly take it out to walk or whatsoever. Hence, you won’t see white earbuds hanging in the malls and stuff. Most are used in the car or home or in the office.

So there you go, I hope I shed some light on the situation about spotting iPods in KL.

Posted by alanow in Malaysia on January 2, 2006 at 6:59 AM (PDT)

21

one more thing that i want to enlighten all is the relative price of ipod against other products in Malaysia. Let’s take food for example. In Malaysia, foodstuff is around MYR 10(2.50 USD) a meal and Ipod video 30g is around MYR 1300 (325USD). The ratio is 130 meals to 1 ipod. In US,a meal is around 10USD and the ipod is 299USD. Just 30 meals for an ipod. So buying an ipod for Americans is not a big issue, while for Malaysians, it is rather an expensive investment…

just my 2 cents…

Posted by NumpXP on January 4, 2006 at 6:10 PM (PDT)

22

iPods are without doubt expensive here in Kuala Lumpur. I use a 40GB Photo and had to wait for the price to come down before getting it. It set me back RM1799 which blew almost my entire paycheck for that particular month almost a year ago. This is actually the price when they were trying to clear the stock in order for the iPod Video to come in… but there we go. Ipods are popular here in KL, but price being the main factor as to why it’s not seen so often, like on public transportation as mentioned earlier. People like myself who do own the iPod drive, so we use iTrip with it and forget about carrying cds anymore. I am one person who would be looking forward to buying tunes from the iTunes store, but it’s not likely to happen here as you can see the rate of piracy is very very high in Malaysia. One joker would probably buy a legitimate album online, then make a thousand copies and sell them. It’s really sad… Would love to hear what can be done about these issues, and make other accessories and iPods in general more affordable for us iPodholics in Malaysia. And by the way… most people who own the iPod generally hate the default earphones… I’m using the in-ear Earbuds by Apple, but still considering the Etymotics…

Posted by mOOsifer the iPoDHoLiC on February 26, 2006 at 11:31 PM (PDT)

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