Smartphones becoming popular in the Philippines
A report by research firm GfK Philippines noted the steady increase of smartphone users in the Philippines, led by the introduction of low-priced Internet-enabled mobile devices. It said this gives more Filipinos access to internet surfing on their mobile phones. GfK Philippines noted that the average price of smartphones in the country has dropped 23 percent from US$317 or P13,000 in 2011 to about $244 or P10,000 this year. “Rising demand for smartphones is largely triggered by efforts of device manufacturers who are offering more affordable smartphones, as well as retailers who have started offering 0 percent interest programs of up to 24 months on top of other promos when selling smartphone devices,” said Mr. GfK Philippines general manager Benny Villanueva. Globe Telecom launched Globe PowerSurf plans to take advantage of the growth of smartphone use in the Philippines. Globe PowerSurf plans are mobile browsing plans that use megabytes or MBs, a unit that measures data in internet-related transactions. It said mobile surfing activities such as sending e-mails, downloading an application, posting on social networking sites, uploading photos or streaming videos all require a certain amount of data. 1MB is equivalent to 1,024 kilobytes (KB). Globe said through Globe PowerSurf MB, its subscribers get bulk Megabytes (MB) of mobile data, consumable per KB. Using Globe PowerSurf MB plans, subscribers use their allotted MBs for mobile internet activities, where MBs are consumed based on actual data from a specific activity. Globe said this type of charging is better than default charging where subscribers are charged P5 for every 15 minutes of online time. Using MBs in mobile surfing does not look at the time spent online, but on the activity performed or site visited, making it more affordable to surf on the mobile phone, thus giving users the worry-free mobile surfing experience. “Most Filipinos buy smartphones and miss out on a lot of its features by limiting its use to texting or calling. A lot of smartphone users tend to use data via WiFi only due to fear of high data charges. This is why Globe introduced their PowerSurf MB plans. PowerSurf MB is best for smartphone users who always want to be connected and online without having to worry about high data charges, since charging is not based on time spent online, but on what they do and the sites they go to when connected to mobile internet,” said Ms. Jenny Granada-Echevarria, head of Globe Mobile Data Services. “Now that smartphone prices have dropped, it is fitting to offer mobile internet plans that give more value for money. Through this lineup of data plans, we also hope to empower smartphone owners to maximize their phone and enjoy the full features of its apps, especially now that surfing on mobile has become easier on the pocket with Globe PowerSurf MB plans,” she added. Globe's prepaid subscribers can choose from the following PowerSurf plans: 20MB for P15 valid for 1 day, 50MB for P30 also valid for 1 day, and 100MB for P50 valid for 3 days. Prepaid and Postpaid subscribers looking for plans with higher MB allocation and longer validity can avail of the following 30-day PowerSurf MB variants: 50MB for only P99, 300 MB for only P299, and 1GB for only P499. Globe said to subscribe to a Globe PowerSurf MB plan, subscribers need to text Powersurf to 8888 or dial 143# for free.