Mobile Internet usage in the Philippines is growing rapidly, on the back of attractive smartphone offers bundled with mobile data.
First quarter mobile Internet revenues of leading wireless operator Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), for example, rose 71%, as reported by parent company Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).
According to Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea, the explosive increase in mobile Internet usage among Smart’s subscribers was driven in the first quarter mainly by a “solid portfolio of postpaid data plans bundled with best-in-class smartphones”.
Smart launched in the first quarter its limited-edition Data Plan 1000, which bundled free calls, SMS, and mobile Internet, with a choice from a slew of ‘power’ smartphones from all the top manufacturers, at discounted and amortized prices.
These developments follow the rapid growth of the worldwide smartphone market.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker released last week, the worldwide smartphone market grew 42.5% year on year in the first quarter of 2012.
The report also cited manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, Nokia, Research in Motion, and HTC shipping an estimated 144.9 million smartphones just within the period.
Banking on the massive popularity of smartphones, Smart is further stepping up efforts to promote smartphone adoption and usage. The telco leader is set to offer the hotly-anticipated, third-generation Galaxy S, the Samsung Galaxy S III.
A smarter Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung, which moved 42.2 million smartphones and made a new record for the most number of smartphones shipped in a single quarter according to the IDC report, pumped the Galaxy S III’s superior hardware with intuitive technology.
It features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, an 8MP camera and a 1.9MP front camera, and a host of other features, powered by a snappy Quad Core Processor and Android™ 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for its OS.
Among its unique features are ‘Smart Stay’, which tracks the user’s eyes, so as long as they are looking at it, the display won’t dim or turn off. Another feature is called ‘Pop Up Play’, which allows the user to play stored videos in a window on any homescreen, while they are writing a text message, email, playing games or while using virtually any other mobile application.
The Samsung Galaxy S III will be available from Smart bundled with Unli Data Plans that all come with unlimited mobile Internet, plus free SMS and call minutes. The device will also be available under Smart’s All-In Plans. Pre-orders will be accepted starting May 23, 2012, via http://www.smart.com.ph/galaxys3.
“We are very excited that Smart subscribers will be among the first to enjoy our flagship device Samsung Galaxy S III, and benefit greatly from its superior hardware and enhanced smartphone usability,” said Mr. Michael Cheon, HHP Business Advisor for Samsung Electronics Philippines Corp.
With advanced, always-connected smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S III rapidly gaining popularity among Filipino users, Smart expects mobile Internet to remain a bright spot for the company.
“As smartphones become more pervasive and easier to use, more Filipinos will use it to access the Internet. But the only way to truly maximize the features of all these great smartphones is to use them on a strong and reliable network. And Smart is the only telco with a data network capable of providing the best connectivity to the world’s most advanced devices,” added Vea.
Smart has the widest HSPA+ network in the country, ensuring coverage in most places, and is the only telco in the Philippines with a dual band 4G HSPA+ network – which gives mobile devices better signal reception, faster connection speeds, and better battery life.