Was gone, but back now

I was gone for the past couple of weeks in Cambodia and Indonesia, but I’m back now and ready to post some more.

Whenever I travel overseas, I like to look at the various pieces of technology that people are using.  After going to these two countries in the developing world, I have two things to say:

Apple and Angry Birds.


We were in Cambodia and we were going on a bicycle tour to Angkor Wat.  We were waiting in the hotel when our tour guide arrived, and what did he have in his hand?  An iPad.  I thought to myself “What the?  I thought Cambodia was a poor country!”  Well, perhaps it is (of that there is no doubt), but maybe this tour company gave their guides these devices.

But later on, we were walking in the market looking at all the various pieces of junk for sale.  After all, going to these countries and buying junk is a first world person’s dream.  We were browsing and I decided to buy something (I forget what) and asked “How much?”  The girl there wasn’t able to understand what I was asking so she called over the owner of his shop.  He came over and what did he have in his hand?  An iPad.

Okay, this was unusual. The owners of these shops are not wealthy; there’s too much competition and they all sell the same stuff and it’s pretty cheap.  How can these people afford iPads?  Yet afford them they can, and I also saw a lot of Apple memorabilia on the young people, too (teenagers).  Apple has penetrated the developing world.

Yet if Apple is making gains here, Angry Birds is killing it – especially in Cambodia.  I didn’t see very many of the locals with smart phones (I saw more Blackberries than iPhones or Androids), but there were tons of kids wearing Angry Birds t-shirts.  I would estimate that in Cambodia, probably 1 out of 5 kids was wearing an Angry Birds shirt.

They were everywhere.

I don’t know if they know what Angry Birds is (i.e., have they even played the game on an iPad, iPhone or Android?), but this bit of western culture has absolutely made it to the developing world, too.  I didn’t see as much Angry Birds in Bali as I did in Cambodia, but it was definitely there, too.

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