The Philippines’ largest mobile operator Smart is partnering with local vendor MyPhone to take smartphones to the mass-market segment and boost penetration in the country, which currently is about 40 per cent.
Smart is offering a bundled handset package with a prepaid SIM card and 100MB of data for PHP888 (almost $19) per month for a year. The My28 smartphone supports Android’s Lollipop OS and features a 4” screen, a 1.2GHz Spreadtrum quadcore processor, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of ROM. It also has a 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera.
Ariel Fermin, head of Smart’s consumer business, said the company plans to make smartphones “a lot more attainable” through device offers and promos, and by expanding the range of its digital services, BusinessWorld reported.
The partnership aims to attract new smartphone users and prepaid subscribers, as well as continue to drive mobile data usage, which expanded 139 per cent in the first nine months last year, the company said.
Rival Globe Telecom in November entered into a co-branding agreement with local handset maker Cherry Mobile to launch prepaid SIM and handset bundles, which it expects to attract two to three million additional prepaid customers.
Globe, the country’s number two mobile operator, also tied up with Chinese device manufacturer Oppo to give prepaid customers purchasing its devices a free prepaid SIM loaded with internet access.
According to GSMA Intelligence, both Smart and Globe’s smartphone penetration increased from 30 per cent at the end of 2014 to just over 40 per cent in Q4 last year.