Drop everything you're doing and read this fascinating look at the pricing power and loyalty mania Apple is beginning to enjoy across Southeast Asia. Blogger Peter Pham is on the ground in Vietnam and could school you on a thing or two about the region.
Keep in mind we're talking about a quarter of the world's total population or so...
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:$AAPL) reported their latest earnings earlier in the week and it shocked a number of people, especially those who only see the world through the eyes of the West. Living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam I can tell you first-hand that the market for Apple products here is nothing short of insane.
The official numbers out of China were enough to make the headlines with Apple selling iPhones at five times the rate they did in 2011. Revenue in China hit $7.9 billion up nearly 300%. In their first two quarters of 2012 they have done nearly the same amount of business they did in all of fiscal year 2011. The revenue breakdown was equally impressive for the entire Asia-Pacific region rising from 22.1% in Q2 2011 to 29.2% in Q2 2012.
Never Get Involved in an Asian Land War
It is hard for those in the West to understand just how many people live in Southeast Asia and what it means for those populations to grow economically at 5% to 10% per year for a couple of decades. Indonesia is 237 million people. Vietnam is nearly 90 million. China is more than 1.2 billion. The law of large numbers tells us that the rate at which people are moving up the economic ladder is just faster in the East than it is in the West. And those people have grown up wanting what the West has: the food, the toys, the cars, the comforts that make living life easier.
Branding is extremely important in Asia. And Apple has unparalleled brand loyalty among its users. Translating that over here where there is that desire for things American and/or European it only makes sense that Apple would evoke such a strong response.