The Philippine Daily Inquirer writes that the country’s main mobile operators are expecting a surge in sales of smartphones this year as the wider coverage of mobile data networks and increased availability of affordable devices and tariff plans drives consumer demand. PLDT unit Smart Communications reports that smartphone sales doubled in the last three months of 2011 alone, fuelled by growing demand for the mobile internet and increased availability of devices. Smart wireless advisor Orlando B Vea is quoted as saying that its customers are responding favourably to its smartphone-based offers and campaigns (particularly in 2H11), while its network modernisation programme – already ‘far ahead of the competition’ he claims – is delivering ‘a superior mobile internet experience to our subscribers’. Vea reports a spike in high-end smartphones running on the three main operating systems: Google’s Android O/S devices tallied the highest increase at 300%, followed by BlackBerry (66%) and Apple (62%).
Smart’s experience is echoed by rival Globe Telecom which is also witnessing strong growth as a result of cheaper data plans. ‘To keep up with the growing demand for smartphones and mobile internet use in the Philippines, Globe Telecom has beefed up its portfolio of smartphone plans with unlimited access to mobile browsing,’ the company said in a statement. Globe highlighted its ‘My Super Plan Unli Surf Combos’ plan – which it claims offer Filipinos their first taste of fully customisable unlimited data plans.