Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Telco Offers Inexpensive Smart Phones

Smart Communications Inc., the country's largest mobile phone service provider, has announced the addition of one of the world’s most affordable and high-quality Huawei Ideos to complete its range of smart phones from high-end to mass-market handsets. The move is intended to strengthen its leadership and as part of its push to promote Internet access for all Filipinos.

Billed to be the world’s first affordable Android smart phone, Huawei Ideos is expected to offered by Smart within a price range of PhP5,000 to P6,000.00 per unit to prepaid subscribers. It will also be bundled in a monthly plan of as low as P500 per month for postpaid subscribers. The new smartphone offering is powered by the Google Android 2.2 operating system and can be customized with communication, entertainment, productivity and gaming applications of which more than 70,000 are available (mostly free) in the Android Market.

Statistics show there are over 30 million Internet users in the Philippines, and majority of these gain access to the worldwide web through Internet cafés. Only about 20 percent of the Philippine population had access to Internet using their own personal computers. Though prices of personal computers, including laptops and netbooks, have fallen in recent years, industry analysts expect that web-enabled mobile phones will soon become the most pervasive means of accessing the Internet, especially for lower-income consumers.

Smart Communications said they now have about eight (8) million mobile subscribers accessing the Internet. Mobile Internet usage in the Philippines has been growing steadily, and is now poised to take off. The company says it will now take it to the next level with smartphones that are affordable to a broader market.

Social networking, e-mail and browsing are among the most popular mobile Internet applications.  Facebook alone have more than twenty (20M) million Filipinos in its total membership and this is when many Filipinos still do not have easy access to the Internet yet. Smart believes that inexpensive smartphones like Huawei Ideos will be especially helpful in promoting Internet usage because these devices are driven by touch-screen applications that enable users to easily access the Internet for Facebook and email updates, games, music and other services.

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