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New phone for New Year
[December 27, 2012]

New phone for New Year

Dec 27, 2012 (The Manila Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Not to be outdone, Globe Telecom also held one of the country's biggest Christmas concert parties as it welcomed two important milestones in its rich history: the celebration of a faster and stronger Globe network in Makati City and the midnight countdown to launch the iPhone 5.

The New Glorietta in Palm Drive was filled with over 3,000 spectators, eagerly waiting to be part of the night's festivities. Dubbed as Pamasko ng Globe, the event was indeed the biggest Christmas present of Globe to its subscribers, which comprised of performances from the brightest artists, games and raffle activities.

"Makati City can now look forward to crystal-clear calls, prompt SMS exchanges, as well as super-fast data delivery on their phones and gadgets, even at peak times and critical business hours," said Ernest Cu, Globe president and chief executive officer.

Carrying the iPhone for the past five years, Globe sets itself besides competition with its most affordable and fully customizable plans with easy payment terms and a reset option for existing subscribers, a comprehensive mobile phone protection program, exclusive privileges such as free subscription to the GCASH American Express Virtual Card, 50-percent discount on iPhone 5 accessories, and free download of Globe Mobile Apps, all supported by a faster and stronger network nationwide.

Mayor Junjun Binay of Makati City led the list of guests who graced the affair to celebrate the modernized Globe network the city.

Star-studded night Adding glitz and glamour to the event are some of the country's premier artists who entertained the crowd with their enthralling performances. Child stars Xyriel Manabat and Zaijan Jaranilla, bands 6CycleMind, Bamboo and Parokya ni Edgar, premier vocal group The Company, teenstars Barbie Forteza and Joshua Dionisio, balladeers Jed Madela and Christian Bautista, heartthrobs Dingdong Dantes, Paulo Avelino and Robi Domingo, hosts Cesca Litton, Nikki Gil, Billy Crawford, Rovilson Fernandez and Marc Nelson, mother and daughter tandem Zsa Zsa Padilla and Zia Quizon, actor and TM endorser Cesar Montano, and the Queen of All Media and newest Globe ambassador Kris Aquino all took part in the star-studded celebration in the country's premier business district.

"This is the gift of Globe to all of you, a brand-new network to strengthen ties, connect lives, and enhance your relationships," enthused Aquino, who, as a Globe subscriber since 1996, is the face behind the telco's massive network transformation program.

Further drawing excitement from the audience were the long list of raffle items given away such as gift certificates, overnight accommodations, out-of-town trips, home appliances, and gadgets. Videos from top Globe endorsers such as Sarah Geronimo, Angelica Panganiban, Bianca Gonzalez, Gerald Anderson, Vice Ganda, Pokwang and Coco Martin were also shown as they shared their fondest Christmas memories.

At the strike of midnight, sports icons Rovilson Fernandez and Marc Nelson, together with Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business Peter Bithos unveiled the iPhone 5, complete with fireworks display and the best visual and aural treat for the audience to enjoy. Lawyer Atty. Leo Domin-guez became the first Globe subscriber to experience the iPhone 5 from Globe under its innovative roster of genius offers.

The VIP treatment A few hours after the back-to-back Christmas event, thousands of Globe subscribers and iPhone loyalists trooped to the Bonifacio Global City where Globe set up its official iPhone 5 claiming and fulfillment booth. As early as 5:30 a.m., early birds and fanatics excitedly lined up to finally get their hands on the iPhone 5.

Throughout the event, customers were given the VIP treatment they deserve from the moment they entered the doors of the claiming booth. Device experts and "geniuses" were scattered around the area, ready to answer queries from subscribers. Event assistants proactively organized queuing areas and facilitated smooth transition from one customer to the next. Food and drinks were overflowing to satisfy customers' gastronomical needs.

The first fulfillment day lasted until 4 a.m. the next day, with Globe receiving overwhelming orders of the latest iPhone from new and existing subscribers, exceeding last year's targets. "Our ultimate goal is to bring the iPhone 5 to more Filipinos, and we definitely achieved that as the first in iPhone and the undisputed leader in postpaid," shared Bithos.

Needless to say, the customer experience was complete--something that only Globe, with its rich experience in the iPhone, can give.

For more information visit

* * * Smart maximizes iPhone 5's power Just like the previous year, Smart Communications once again went all out with their launch of the iPhone 5 via a simultaneous midnight countdown at nine different locations around Metro Manila--the main event happening at the Newton Mall's plaza in Resorts World Manila, Pasay City.

The clamor for Apple's newest phone was evident as the hashtag #iwantiPhone5 became a trending Twitter topic nationwide as eager patrons awaited the official local release.

Thousands of Smart subscribers placed their iPhone 5 reservations as early as December 7 and as the hour struck at midnight, an estimated 2,000 customers lined up to claim the highly anticipated phone.

"iPhone has a strong and devoted following in the Philippines. We expect this to get even stronger with the launch of iPhone 5," exclaimed Ramon Isberto, head of the Public Affairs Group of Smart, in an interview with The Manila Times. "And Smart promises that if you use the device with our network, you will get the best possible experience." The Smart official added, "Even though Smart was not the first one to offer the iPhone, the word has still gotten around that Smart is capable of handling these mobile data devices with DNA like those of computers. The handset is the same whatever network you go to. The difference is the capability of the network to maximize the power of these devices." The iPhone 5 carries the iOS 6, the most advanced mobile operating system in the world with over 200 new features including Shared Photo Streams, Facebook integration, Maps app and Passbook organization, among others. It is also installed with Apple's A6 chip that offers even faster performance, as well as the HSPA wireless technology for better connectivity.

In terms of the appearance, the iPhone 5 is also the thinnest and lightest ever, completely redesigned to feature a new four-inch Retina display. For battery life, expect iPhone 5 to last longer than most smartphones.

iPhone boom According to Isberto, iPhone's following in the Philippines continues to grow as more and more Filipinos shift to smartphones. He explained, "If you follow the trend that is happening worldwide, there will be more and more smartphones. In the country, smartphones users are estimated at 15 percent to 20 percent [out of all mobile phone users]--and soon to increase. There are also studies that say we are the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia." Of course, iPhone 5 is on the lead. "We expect consumer interest [for iPhones] to be strong. It is getting to be a habit," enthused Isberto.

To accommodate the continuous rise in iPhone users and other smartphones, the network had modernized and expanded its service.

Isberto shared, "Let me put it this way, I think we established a record that we provisioned for the future. We saw that data devices like the iPhone 5 for example, will become a significant part of the market, the demand in the market will increase significantly. This is why we invested and modernized our network early on." In late 2011, Smart began replacing all its radio equipments in 9,500 base stations with next-generation facilities easily upgradable to fourth generation technologies like HSPA+ and LTE. It was in July of this year that the network completed the installation and optimization of the new equipments for its entire cellular network all over the country. The modernization increased the network's capacity to handle voice, text messaging and mobile broadband services.

'Sweet spot' As to what the Smart postpaid plans will offer for the iPhone 5, Isberto said that the "sweet spot" lies in the SMS and voice call for all networks.

"If you look at the plan, I think you will see very quickly, which is the sweet spot in terms of the contents of the offer, the SMS and voice calls. We expect that most iPhone users will switch to postpaid plans. Because I think it's a very good offer and has value for money." At iPhone Plan 999, Smart subscribers will get 40 call minutes and 100 texts while enjoying unlimited internet data consumption; while iPhone Plan 2499 offers 300 call minutes and texts on top of unlimited internet data consumption as well.

Also at iPhone Plan 2499, the iPhone 5 16GB and 32 GB models will be free, and the iPhone 5 64GB model will be sold at only P6,000.

The iPhone 5 can also be availed from other Smart postpaid plans like the All In and Unli Data plans. Prepaid offers are also up for grabs, with iPhone 5 models ranging from P33,000 to P44,000.

For complete information on Smart's iPhone 5 plans and offerings, visit

* * * Xperia V: Very fast, very smart In partnership with Smart Communications, Sony recently launched the Xperia V, the country's first water- and dust resistant LTE smartphone.

The Xperia V is one of the first LTE smartphones to launch in the Philippines, enabling a turbo-charged experience of the Internet. The smartphone supports download speeds of up to 100MBPS, which is perfect for video streaming, online gaming and various downloads in a snap. Users will be able to download apps and huge files in seconds, and enjoy online videos without buffering. As a PlayStation-certified smartphone, the Xperia V further enhances real-time mobile gaming.

"The Xperia V is also the first water-and dust-resistant LTE smartphone to launch worldwide. As our other handset models have shown, water resistance has become a sought-after feature in mobile phones, and Sony has been at the forefront of this trend," said Patrick Larraga, head of Mobile Business of Sony Philippines.

The Xperia V is now the fourth water-resistant handset from Sony, and is rated at IP55/IP57 based on the international-standard IP Rating Scale.

"Smart is proud to offer a truly unique LTE smartphone in the Philippines, just months after introducing the country's first commercial LTE service," said Smart Wireless Consumer Division Head Emmanuel C. Lorenzana. "With help from our partners at Sony, we are one step closer to bringing the power of next-generation mobile Internet into the hands of even more Filipinos," Lorenzana added.

The Xperia V also features a 13-megapixel fast capture HD camera with Exmor R for mobile. This Sony technology allows users to capture bright still images and video even in low light conditions. With High Dynamic Range, the camera can more accurately capture scenes even against harsh backlight. The Xperia V also supports 1080 full HD video recording for sharper videos. An excellent viewing experience is guaranteed on its 4.3-inch HD Reality Display with Mobile Bravia Engine 2.

Through the Walkman application, users can activate Sony's ClearAudio+ mode and enjoy music the way it was meant to be heard. One can also use it to access music their Facebook friends have liked.

As an NFC (near field communication) device, the Xperia V lets users instantaneously access music and photos across other NFC-enabled Sony devices. This "one-touch" wireless connection works without having to pair with another device. The Xperia V, for example, can stream music wirelessly to an NFC-enabled speaker like the upcoming Sony SRS-BTV5.

With such powerful functionality, the Xperia V also comes with Sony's unique Battery Stamina Mode, a feature that can increase standby time up to four times more. Developed specifically to address consumer demand for longer smartphone battery life, this extended standby mode works intelligently in the background by temporarily disabling WiFi, data traffic and apps when the screen is on sleep mode. Calls, messaging functions and notifications will still work. When the screen is touched again, all functions go back up.

"Battery Stamina Mode is easy to use and offers more savings than other similar power saving apps today. There are actually no comparable apps on Google Play since they cannot change the Android system. Battery Stamina Mode is achieved via deeper integration into the Android OS. This allows Xperia V users to enjoy more hours on the fastest LTE connection available," explained Larraga.

The Xperia V will be available in black and white colors.

* * * Huawei's flagship phones for less BY ED UY STAFF WRITER As more and more Filipinos aspire to own smartphones, Huawei unveiled two of its most reasonably priced yet feature-packed phones a few days before Christmas--the Ascend D1 quad XL, and the Ascend G600.

The Ascend D1 quad XL is its flagship quad-core Android 4.0 ICS smartphone that combines good looks and performance with an exceptional audio visual experience. This turbo-charged all-rounder, is powered by Huawei's HiSilicon HI3620 quad-core 1.4GHz processor, and offers a mobile cinematic experience like no other, with its high-definition 4.5-inch, 1280 x 720 Toshiba screen providing crystal clear images even under direct sunlight.

It also features an ultra-powerful 2600mAh battery, and delivers an impressive 15 hours of talk time and 500 hours of standby time. The Ascend D1 quad XL keeps you on-the-go with 30 percent more battery power than the industry average by adjusting power consumption according to usage needs.

With a design inspired by streamlined sports cars and measuring just 64.9mm wide, 11.5mm slim and weighing approximately 145g, the Ascend D1 quad XL fits your hand like a glove. Its 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and 1080p full HD video-capture and playback capabilities enable you to record your special moments in clearer, richer detail. The Ascend D1 quad XL also features an 8GB ROM, easily increased up to 32GB with microSD.

Running on Google's sweet Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 and powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, the HUAWEI Ascend G600 OS is at the forefront of innovation placing great technology within reach for more people around the world.

The Ascend G600 has an 8-megapixel auto focus rear-facing camera, double speakers with DTS surround sound, and offers more connectivity and file sharing options with WiFi Direct, Bluetooth and DLNA. Its 1930mAh Li-Polymer battery can be fully charged in four hours and provides more than 15 days of standby time.

"Huawei strives to combine what we know people want in a smartphone with our experience in delivering against those expectations. As part of our Ascend series of best-in-class smartphones, these phones allow consumers to experience speed, long battery life and exceptional mobile entertainment in a high-quality, lightweight package. In addition, our more than two decades of experience has allowed us to optimize the Ascend smartphones' network search algorithm and its base station auto-search technology, improving the speed of the phone's signal detection to further extend battery life," said Johnson Ma, country manager of Huawei Philippines.

For more information, visit Huawei Device online:; or like them on Facebook/huaweideviceph ___ (c)2012 The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) Visit The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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