Why is the new iPhone so expensive?

Good news Malaysia Apple fans! iPhone XS and XS Max will be in store soon and now available for booking. The selling price starts at RM4,999 (iPhone XS 64GB) and goes all the way up to RM7,049 (iPhone XS Max 512 GB).

RM7,000+ for a mobile phone!

In context – the median monthly salaries for Malaysian workers, based on 2017 survey by Malaysia Statistic Department, is RM2,160. Employees with tertiary education of 3.3 million persons earn a median salary of RM4,320 (source)*.

So if you work out the simple maths – Should an average Malaysian want a new iPhone, he or she will need to spend three, or four months worth of salary.


Expensive price tag is good for Apple’s business (duh!)

It’s obvious now that Apple wants their iPhones to be expensive.

They want the majority can’t afford their products.

Weeding out the “poor” is good for Apple.

Chinese joke on iPhone XS price. Translation: “Expensive is never its drawbacks, it’s yours. Booking starts September 14, sales starts September 21”.

If you can’t afford an iPhone – it’s YOUR problem; not Apple’s

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 third quarter ended June 30, 2018 just recently.

The Company posted quarterly revenue of $53.3 billion, an increase of 17 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.34, up 40 percent.

56.1% of Apple’s revenue came from iPhone sales – the company sold 41.3 million iPhones in Q3 FY 2018. Services –  a catch-all category that includes the App Store, Apple Care, Apple Pay, iTunes and cloud services contributed $9.5 million in revenue – a 31% surge from year-ago quarter.

Some key observations:

  1. Apple sold the more or less the same amount of iPhones and iPads in year-ago quarter (Q3 2017),
  2. Apple sold less Mac compared to year-ago quarter (Q3 2017),
  3. Revenue and profit, however, are up 17% and 40%.

In other words, Apple made 40% more money by selling LESS.

what just happened? What just happened?

The strategy of selling higher price iPhones is proved working.

Users who spent so much on a phone are more likely to spend more in Apple Store, Apple Care, iTunes, and Apple Cloud service – the higher margin sectors. Revenue from “Service” just surged 31% Y-o-Y in Q3 2018. This sector will grew even faster in coming quarters.

Selling less units means Apple now has less users to take care of, they can provide better service to their “honorable customers”.

Apple iPhone will soon be the phones for the privileged. Just like how private banking and business class flights are positioned for only high net worth customers.

If you think these services or products are expensive – it’s because they are not for you. Stop pretending, or forcing yourself to be what you are not.

Stop letting Apple to milk you. Get an Oppo or Xiao Mi.

Or why change phone when your old one still works fine?



* Additional data –

1- iPhone in U.S. market

In United States, iPhone XS 64GB, 256GB or 512GB are selling at $999, $1,149 or $1,349. You need to add $100 on top of that for the iPhone XS Max with a bigger display ($1,099, $1,249 or $1,449). The iPhone XR starts at $749 for 64GB, with 128GB and 256GB also available for $799 and $899.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for workers in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2017 was (pre-tax) $857 per week or $44,564 per year for a 40-hour workweek.

The iPhone price is not as expensive as you would “feel” in Malaysia. But it’s still a big portion on household spending, considering an average American spent just about $7,700 annually on food.

2- Spending on apps and in-app purchases

Apple users spent $63 on average on apps and in-app purchases in 2017; versus Android’s $58.

If you really have to send that canned email…

I know that you are busy.

We are ALL BUSY.

But I thought you should know there’s another human on the other end of line.

If you really have to send that canned email…

  • Can you please address my name?
  • Can you please edit your font style so it’s easier to read?
  • Can you please keep it short so I can know what you want in just one quick glance?

That’s the least respect you can give to my inbox space.

And the least you can do as an “outreach specialist” or “IT manager” or “professional blogger”.

20 Years of Google Search and Beyond

Can you believe it? Google is no longer a teenager. The big brother has turned 20 years old in 2018.

Here’s an interesting article, written by Google Search VP Ben Gomes, in conjunction to the company anniversary: Improving search for the next 20 years.

For the next 20 years, Google wants to shift (to quote)…

  1. From answers to journeys,
  2. From queries to providing a queryless way to get to information, and
  3. From text to a more visual way of finding information.

All these sounds great. But… do read between the lines.

Every time Google says “First and foremost, we focus on the user….”, I get the feeling that something against the users’ interests is happening.

Be reminded that Google has been showing more and bigger ads in their search result pages repeatedly over the years. Read here, here, and here.

While Google is certainly serious about improving its users experience in overall. I suppose the shift in next 20 years also meant Google will

  1. Track users closer and collect even more data to improve product stickiness,
  2. Inject more suggestions in SERP (we have already seen a 35% surge in “people also ask” in July 2018) to better understand searchers’ intent; and then pushing more ads and product recommendations in the name of “improving user’s Google experience”, and
  3. Provide better Google image and video search suggestions (probably allow users to preview the videos on site?) to increase users time spent on Google.

Does that red ball in the movie Minority Report comes into mind?


Why are generic domains so expensive?

Another year and another list of the top selling domain names, showing once again why certain domain names are much more pricey (pricier?) than others. If you haven’t been keeping up with the domain name game, let me give you a little spoiler:

All the of the best selling domain names are all single-word, generic domain names.

Now, for most of you, that might not come as a surprise. But, I’m pretty sure there’s someone out there who’s thinking of buying their first domain name and are tempted to be as outlandish as possible.

Well, if you take a look at both the 2018 Top 100 Domain Names Sales (see table below), the big money is always going to be with simple, single-word domain names.

Single-word domain names like fund.com or toys.com were some of the biggest sales of all-timesThe trend continued in 2018 with domain names such as ice.com and super.com at $3.5 million and $1.2 million respectively.

2018 Top 100 Domain Names Sales

Rank Domain Price
1 ice.com $3,500,000
2 super.com $1,200,000
3 great.com $900,000
4 liquid.com $750,000
5 christian.com $600,000
6 inception.com $550,000
7 fo.com $510,000
8 sleeping.com $502,225
9 snoring.com $502,225
10 home.loans $500,000
11 dax.com $500,000
12 tokens.com $500,000
13 inspection.com $335,000
14 nwm.com $325,000
15 seva.com $310,000
16 strength.com $300,001
17 the.club $300,000
18 een.com $300,000
19 signet.com $300,000
20 509.com $295,000
21 mastermind.com $275,000
22 crosswordpuzzles.com $249,980
23 sportsmans.com $235,000
24 star.org $225,000
25 dxb.com $220,000
26 gab.com $220,000
27 supernatural.com $215,888
28 jumprope.com $200,000
29 cryptoworld.com $195,000
30 urw.com $195,000
31 hybrid.com $190,000
32 8.top $172,758
33 0007.com $172,500
34 c.top $167,223
35 e.top $163,125
36 soulmate.com $160,000
37 can.com $155,000
38 presto.com $150,000
39 wjx.com $150,000
40 fxt.com $150,000
41 edit.com $140,000
42 cpu.com $140,000
43 bad.de $138,443
44 interspace.com $136,410
45 hpx.com $130,000
46 nbx.com $130,000
47 mappa.com $127,400
48 flo.com $127,258
49 radian.com $125,000
50 ila.com $125,000
51 emx.com $120,000
52 calltracking.com $120,000
53 enhance.com $110,000
54 item.com $102,000
55 music.ai $101,500
56 payperclick.com $100,000
57 hosts.com $100,000
58 jones.com $100,000
59 providers.com $100,000
60 handle.com $95,378
61 cashout.com $95,011
62 koffer.com $86,892
63 3339.com $85,000
64 cryptogame.com $85,000
65 wsb.com $85,000
66 feed.co $85,000
67 carstore.com $82,500
68 at.top $75,198
69 publica.com $75,000
70 myvid.com $75,000
71 cense.com $75,000
72 broker.com.au $73,000
73 osl.com $72,000
74 ebike.com $71,938
75 runner.com $69,000
76 bitforex.com $65,000
77 fakenews.com $65,000
78 damn.com $65,000
79 betterfuture.com $65,000
80 aah.org $63,700
81 hubi.com $63,000
82 my.bio $61,002
83 margo.com $60,270
84 kug.com $60,000
85 totaldesign.com $60,000
86 hodler.com $57,500
87 amz.com $57,000
88 garbuio.com $55,490
89 smartwatches.com $55,000
90 sysadmin.com $55,000
91 walrus.com $55,000
92 btcexchange.com $55,000
93 bz.top $53,904
94 qb.top $52,777
95 bg.top $51,187
96 sponge.com $51,000
97 reasons.com $50,001
98 talk.show $50,000
99 orbs.com $50,000
100 tees.com $50,000

Again, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise as brands with single word names tend to be more popular (and sells better) than those with complicated names. Why? Because it’s just easier to remember and to market – which in turn bring extra value to businesses.

Businesses named over generic words

Just at the top of my head, here’s a list of some of the most popular single-word brand names: Apple, Windows, Grab, Ever, Business, Startups, Hunt, and Blogger.

I can go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Bottom line, single-word domain names or brands will continue to grow in value over the years. I mean, just take a look at Facebook when Mark Zuckerberg decided to drop the “The”.

Good Reads on Facebook Data “Leak” and “Hacks”

First of all Facebook is not hacked.

Nor there’s a data leaked.

The whole huh-ha about Cambridge Analytica, FB users’ privacy crisis, and Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress on main stream media is entertaining. Watching Mark’s responses to some of the questions remind me (a lot) of the movie “The Social Network”.

Many of these questions and writings are focusing on the shallows or issues that don’t matter.

When you are ready to dive deeper, I suggest reading:

How long can we survive Google domination?

If you wish to know how hard it is to please the almighty Google today, this is a good read.

In the name of “better user experience”, Google has been constantly exploiting small online businesses and pushing content publishers away.

Image credit: Dr. Peter J. Meyers

Knowledge graph. Live results. Snippet answers. Local Google results. Featured videos. Flight schedules.

Every new features being introduced in Google Search draws more internal links back to Google’s assets.

Good content, built with sweat and blood, by smaller publishers are being scrapped by force.

Many of us are creating more (and better) content to temporary solve the issue. But in the long run, there’s no escape from this downward spiral to 0% margin.

It takes good talent and lots of money to create good content.

Yes Google doesn’t owe us a living.

But quoting Dr. Peter J. Meyers  –

…the time has come for Google to stop and think about the pact that built their nearly hundred-billion-dollar ad empire.

After all – what’s there to search after all independent publishers are driven out of business?

Shareaholic Traffic Report (2017)

Recent Shareaholic traffic report indicates that web traffic pattern is shifting from social to search in 2017. Pinterest, Google, and Instagram came out as the big winners as Facebook share of visits dropped ~8% in 2017. Social network, in a whole, is no longer the biggest traffic driver for the 250,000+ sites (this blog included) using Shareaholic app. Instead, search is.

Search finally had a comeback year and overtook Social as the top traffic driver within our network.

Search surpassed social media networks as the biggest traffic driver in 2017.
Facebook visits dropped a massive 12.7% between the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2017.