Apple iTunes and App Store to switch to ringgit (Updated)

  • TECH
  • Monday, 05 Dec 2016

Going local: The iTunes Store, Apple Music and App Store will soon switch to ringgit.

Update: Apple has finally switched currency in the App Store, Apple Music and the iTunes Store. The good news is that Apple is using a fixed price system with a lower exchange rate for all items. For example, a US$0.99 app is now only RM3.90.

However, the prices are not necessarily pegged to a particular exchange rate – for example, a movie like Jason Bourne is US$14.99 in the US iTunes Store but sells in the Malaysian iTunes Store for RM54.90 (which is about a 4.25 exchange rate) while renting the same movie costs US$5.99 to rent but costs only RM12.90 in the Malaysian iTunes Store (which is only using an exchange rate of 2.15 if you're counting). Generally, we've found that with the conversion to ringgit in the Malaysian store, we're all paying much less for our apps, music and movies. Yay!

A price comparison between the Malaysian iTunes Store prices and the United States iTunes Store here shows that Apple is not simply using a fixed exchange rate.

Apple has sent out an e-mail informing users that the iTunes Store, Apple Music and the App Store will soon switch currency from the current US dollar to ringgit.

This could possibly be good news for Malaysian users – for one thing there's the convenience of not having to figure out just how much an app, song or movie will cost in local currency.

However, the e-mail from Apple actually leaves a few questions unanswered.

For example, does switching over to Ringgit mean that Apple will be using a fixed exchange rate or the prices of apps, movies and music go up and down based on the fluctuating exchange rate?

Also we don't currently know what this exchange rate will be – at the current rate, a US$0.99 app costs about RM4.41.

This is pure speculation, but we're also wondering whether switching to local currency also signals that Apple Pay will be coming to Malaysia soon?

We've reached out to Apple for clarification and will update the story when we know more.

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