Why iPhone isn’t popular in Asia!

In Asian countries, iPhone won’t be as popular due to the high number of “other” devices out on the market.

iPhone price cuts in Japan prove that iPhone is still priced too high for Asian consumers.

Let me explain why iPhone cannot be popular in Asia:

When I used to live in South Korea for years, we didn’t goto BestBuy or the local AT&T shop.  For the cheapest prices in South Korea, there’s this “town” called the Electronic Town.  You go here and there’s about 1000 different phones in each store.  (And there’s about 1000 different cellphone shops lined up everywhere)

Above is a screenshot of a typical “electronic” mall in Korea.  As you can see, this is just one of the many (usually around 7-10 floors) floors in just one of the many electronic malls.

Each of those circles represent a cellphone shop.  Some cell Samsung phone, LG phones, and some sell a mixed variety.  Each of these cellphone shops have different prices and the consumer must haggle for the best prices.

Now, can you see how iPhone can pop in one of these stores usually sponsored by big companies in Korea like LG and Samsung?  Even if iPhone does get sold in the stores, there’s usually 100s of other great phones at fraction of the price.

Aside from competing in these cell phone “malls”, iPhone itself isn’t really practical enough for people to cash out double, triple for another similar-grade Samsung phone.

On top of that, Asian countries have about 2-3 years advanced models of Samsung and LG phones.  The Samsung and LG phones you see in America are about 2-3 years old, they are the “leftovers” Samsung need to sell off.

So the mystery is, there’s so many new, innovative phones in Korea, why would you need iPhone?

Most phones in Korea come with air-frequency-enabled TV, iPhone is still selling outdated technology (YouTube) to us American consumers.

Don’t get me wrong, iPhone still have the best mobile browser, but it’s simply made for the “English” speaking countries, not localized for any Asian people.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at how popular Google search engine is in Korea, not very popular indeed, worse than Yahoo by many factors, and Yahoo ranks lower than Korean search engines.

Localization is not a part of the iPhone, therefore failure of sales in Japan and probably other Asian countries.

I think for iPhone to be popular, there’s gotta be reasons more than the great Safari browser, right now, that’s the only reason I’d buy one.

6 Responses to Why iPhone isn’t popular in Asia!

  1. Ryan Rife says:

    This seems a little incorrect….yes, several years ago the US was several years behind Asia in terms of cell phone technology, today that is no longer true. We’re basically equal now in terms of what we have/want. Asians tend to buy more of the feature phones because they like the wow factor of limited use technologies, like the ota tv signal some phones can pick up. Smartphones, like the iPhone, are clearly superior because they’re not built around a limited set of technologies and can easily be expanded. I think the real reason the iPhone hasnt’ taken off is because Asians are arrogant and don’t like buying American goods and services and would rather buy a fake knock-off vs the real thing.

  2. max says:

    Actually this has been true for about last 10 years or so. Take a look at the iPhone, there’s no TV still, just YouTube.

    Lol… I don’t think Asians are arrogant and they do “love” buying American goods, just not the iPhone. Don’t get the wrong idea, most Asian love to buy Gucci and LV bags more than most Americans, just cellphones are hard to sell in Asia. (Speaking from someone who’s Asian and lived in Asia, not some bashing)

  3. Ryan Rife says:

    Man just rub it in a little more about the quality of American goods……Gucci and LV aren’t American. One of my points was that the mobile TV service for phones is more of a gimmick and won’t be around in the long term, IP-based video (ala YouTube) is the future of video delivery….the iPhone, Windows Mobile, etc. can deliver a variety of these services w/o the need of buying a new phone every time a new technology comes out. And if you really want true mobile television go with a SlingBox, LocationFree, etc. box and stream your home television service to your phone (again something only a smartphone can feasibly offer).

  4. max says:

    Oops, yes Gucci and LV, lol, yes maybe that’s not American but what you don’t realize is that most people in Korea don’t buy a phone without TV. This isn’t the same thing as phones that work based on IP, it’s all radio frequency so I don’t think YouTube is the future.

    YouTube is great but it’s still really old Flash technology that only works if you have internet.

    Here’s an article from 3 years ago:


    That’s 3 YEARS AGO and we still have no real TV in america.

  5. Sippy says:

    Agreed, Asia is way ahead in terms of phone technology, India is #1 believe it or not, and YouTube isn’t that popular at all in Asia. TV which can be watched everywhere is much more convenient. Saying American services like Windows Mobile and iPhone are amazing and YouTube is the FUTURE of entertainment, no way. YouTube is dying. That is plain ignorant and biased. Everyone has different views and needs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i’m asian and this is why i won’t buy the iphone. 1.expensive even when you compare to the best of the options out there 2. silly restrictions on subscription plans 3. silly battery life/battery that cannot be replaced 4. no upgradable memory card slots 5. poor call quality 6. can’t be fixed at any store 7. can’t be bought at one of those haggle shops so i’m going to pay full price no matter what. features wise i don’t think it’s great it in fact lacks what so many phones out there have. in a nutshell, iphone sucks.

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