The story goes that during an interview after the launch of the 2008 Mobile Content Challenge yesterday, Maxis CEO, Sandip Das was quizzed about the prospect of Maxis bringing the iPhone 3G to Malaysia and whether the rumour holds any water.
His reply was:
As and when Apple decides to finalise its plans for Malaysia, Maxis hopes to be one of the operators to offer the iPhone – Sandip Das
This is interesting to us as it appears that Maxis and Apple are in a negotiations stalemate with regards to how Apple’s unconventional business mechanism will be between the two companies and how it will affect Maxis.
As you may or may not have known, Apple works on some form of profit share or royalty business model with the iPhone 3G where a service operator will share a certain amount of the margin made on the device with Apple. Else, it will be difficult to justify the USD$174 cost price in materials used to built one unit of the iPhone 3G.
In his reply Mr. Das mentioned that Apple is strugling to meet demands on the device but we think this is just a red herring. We believe the actual purpose of this statement is to pressure Apple to relax their business model to make bringing the iPhone 3G to Malaysia feasible and profitable for Maxis.
It’s a fact that demands are high for the wonder device and reports are saying that supply shortage in America may go well into August but this is only because Apple is relocating supplies to international markets.
For example, our sources in Australia reports that the supply of iPhone 3G is still manageable there.
So we feel Maxis sighting supply shortage is a weak excuse. Even if there was a shortage it should not stop Maxis and Apple to settle on a deadline that both company could work towards. Maxis could even start taking pre-orders if this deadline was established.
Besides, Apple targets to sell the iPhone 3G in 70 countries starting with the first 20 over countries that we are all familiar with. We don’t think that Apple would set such a target if it’s not able to meet that target. To add to that, with pass experiences launching iconic devices like the iPod, Apple would be more than able to manage the spike in demand during initial launch periods – as with the case with the iPhone 3G.
So Mr. Das, we’re still not convince that Maxis will be bringing the iPhone 3G to Malaysia. We surmise that Maxis and Apple might be talking to each other but we don’t think anything is concrete yet and the rumour of the sub-RM1k iPhone 3G is still up in the air.
But of course you’re always welcome to prove us wrong and make over 200 iPhone 3G hopefuls very happy when you actually do bring the iPhone 3G to Malaysia officially for below RM1k