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Are Malaysians still Interested on the latest iPhone from Apple?

To analyse Malaysians’ interest on Apple’s latest smartphones (iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X), iPrice Group conducted a study through Google Trends to find out if Malaysians are still interested in the new iPhones.

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Analysing search interest between 12th and 18th September, peak interest with the keywords “iPhone X” and “iPhone 8” appeared as early as 3:00am on 13th September when the announcement of the new smartphones was live-streamed from California, in the United States. The second surge of search interest appeared at dawn around 7:00am when most Malaysians were awake for work. But when compared, search interest at 3:00am was much higher than 7:00am suggesting that many Malaysians stayed up late through the night to witness the live announcement of the new iPhones.

iPrice also conducted a similar study in Malaysia’s neighbouring countries and found that search interest differed when compared to Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. While search interest on the prices of iPhone X and iPhone 8 was most popular in Malaysia, consumers in the neighbouring countries had higher interest in prices of Apple’s previous smartphone models such as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7. This is reflective of Malaysia’s economy as it currently ranks 3rd place (in GDP per capita) in Southeast Asia, suggesting that Malaysians were more interested in the new smartphones because they were more likely able to afford the new smartphones when compared to consumers in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

When comparing search interest between iPhone’s ‘plus’ models, Malaysians were more interested in the prices the iPhone 7 Plus than the iPhone 8 Plus. Though Apple has yet to announce the price of the iPhone 8 Plus prior to its 20th October launch, it was recently revealed that the pre-order price of the 64GB variant would be RM4,149. Not to mention that Apple lowered the prices of their previous models on the same day the new iPhones were launched. The iPhone 7 Plus (128GB) is now priced at RM3,849, cheaper than the iPhone 8 Plus by RM300 and it remains one of the advanced smartphone in the market.

iPrice said its findings from Google Trends suggests that Malaysian consumers were less interested in the iPhone 8 Plus and would prefer the iPhone 7 Plus as it would come at a cheaper price and with larger storage space. In addition to this, consumers who are able to afford the iPhone 8 Plus might opt to wait for the launch of the more advanced iPhone X in Malaysia as it is estimated to cost around RM4,999 based its launch in Singapore recently.

Along with the keyword ‘iPhone’, keywords such as ‘screen’ and ‘camera’ were the two most popular terms in Malaysia between 12th and 18th September.

On the other end of the spectrum, Malaysians were less interested with the new iPhone’s charging, Animoji and FaceID. Features such as FaceID and wireless charging was previously made available to Malaysians through more affordable Android smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge or the OnePlus 5.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are expected to be available in Malaysia starting 20 October onwards from major Telcos such as Celcom, Digi and U Mobile. Pre-order begins end of next week.

The Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, announced a few weeks ago, bring a new design with glass on the front and back, the latest Apple A11 Bionic six-core chipset, new cameras, louder stereo speakers and new durable glass. Underneath the glass the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display are new units but of the same resolution as the ones on the iPhone 7/7 Plus.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy