Telco giants race to sell iPhone 4S

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Friday, December 16, 2011

ALL the hype about the latest version of Apple’s iPhone was taken a notch further as telecommunications giants held separate events to introduce their own packages for the popular smartphone.

Both Smart Communications and Globe Telecom held separate launch parties in Manila to offer their subscribers packages for the Apple iPhone 4S.

Smart closed down the Power Plant Mall at Rockwell and offered guests free food, entertainment and prizes, with special gifts to the first 10 subscribers who reserved a unit with Smart.


Globe, meanwhile, held its launch at the Ayala Museum.

Applause greeted the top 10 Smart subscribers, who were first to be issued their iPhone 4S past midnight yesterday. Aside from the much anticipated handset, they were given gifts such as Apple iMacs, Macbook Air units and iPad 2 and iPod units.

Though Smart announced the first units will be released at midnight, eager subscribers began lining up in the afternoon.

Guests were able to watch screenings of “Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol” and performances by international acts Jermaine Dupri, Lupe Fiasco, Mark Africa and DJ Skratchmark before the midnight reveal of the partnership with Apple.

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said they decided to offer the latest Apple smartphone because “it is an excellent product.”

He told reporters it would make a good addition to their list of products and that they are grateful Apple allowed them to sell the smartphone.

Digital assistant

The iPhone 4S has been hailed as “the best” iPhone so far, as it comes with a dual-core A5 chip, a more advanced camera with full HD video recording and an “intelligent assistant” called Siri, who follows voice commands and “talks back.”

“Now, more Filipinos in more parts of the country will be able to enjoy the amazing new iPhone 4S on the Philippines’ best cellular network,” said Smart chief wireless advisor, Orlando Vea.

The Apple iPhone 4S comes in 16gb, 32gb and 64gb models.

Smart offers the smartphone free for its Plan 4000 and Plan 3000, except for the 64gb model, which requires an addition of P5,000 for the handset. The lower plans require additional fees for the phone. They also offer iPhone plans with corresponding monthly fees in addition to the plan, payable in 24 months.

For prepaid plans, the phone is sold for P33,200 to P43,200, depending on the model.
Though most of them hailed the launch a success, Pangilinan admitted that he sees “a tough year ahead” for the PLDT group.

While he did not elaborate on the reasons, he noted that 2012 will be the start of integrating Smart with Sun Cellular, following the approval of their acquisition of Digitel shares from JG Summit Holdings.

Though he does not think it will be difficult for them to integrate their operations, Pangilinan said it will take time for things to be in order.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 17, 2011.


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