Will Apple win over Malaysians with its ‘one Store to rule them all’ strategy?

Apple enlisted a whole slew of entertainment heavyweights for its new services. — Reuters pic
Apple enlisted a whole slew of entertainment heavyweights for its new services. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — As expected, Apple announced a whole slew of services. How relevant are they to Malaysian consumers? Here’s a brief summation of what to ignore and what to anticipate.

Pass over: Apple Card, News+

Apple’s partnering with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to offer what is essentially a rewards-based credit card is novel for a tech company. 

It is essentially a US-targetted offering that might have been better served by its own event as it somewhat detracted from its entertainment offerings.

Still it will be interesting to see if Samsung attempts a similar product in Korea or if a similar concept surfaces in China. 

Regional content licensing issues means we’re unlikely to see the News app and its relevant offerings in Malaysia anytime soon.

Worth waiting for: Arcade 

With the mobile space’s maturity and the popularity of mobile games in Malaysia, Apple Arcade could prove an attractive offering for Malaysians. 

The exclusivity of the games to Apple’s platform could be a point of contention to some but if the titles prove to be as strong as they seem to be from the previews, it’s worth taking a look especially if you already game on iOS.

Malaysia is a price-sensitive market, however, so we’ll have to see how subscription rates will be.

Wait and see: TV+, Apple Pay

As for TV+ it will depend on, again, pricing but the line-up will also be a big factor. Oprah might be a big draw in the US but as for the global appeal of Apple’s original channel — we’ll have to wait until Fall and the full line-up to appear.

Apple Pay has been available in neighbouring Singapore for some time, and with existing payment methods such as Samsung Pay, WeChat and the like already around, Apple would be entering a crowded payment market. 

Will these new offerings be enough to entice Malaysian users over to the Apple fold? Again we’ll have to see once the services become fully available. 

The easiest sell so far seems to be Arcade but if Apple manages to make more TV content available to subscribers, Astro might need to watch its back.