‘Tablet lifestyle’ picks up steam

A number of Filipinos may soon find themselves touting a tablet device as manufacturers and telcos continue to create affordable products and services.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), there were approximately 68.7 million tablets sold in 2011—a massive 155% increase from just the year before. In fact, the jump was so unprecedented that the research firm had to raise its original 2012 sales prediction of 87.7 million units to a whopping 106.1 million units.

In the Philippines, the numbers point to the same direction as wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) notes a near tripling of the number of iPads running on its network during the second half of 2011.

“This is certainly good news for Filipinos not only because the technology has matured, but because the devices are now more accessible,” said Smart Broadband and Internet Data Services Head Gio Bacareza. “We are eager to provide our subscribers with the best services so they can focus on having a truly great Internet experience,” he added.

Apple, with a reported three million orders of its newly-refreshed tablet, still leads the charge with a 50% share of the global market followed by rivals Amazon and Samsung with 16.8% and 5.8% slices respectively.

Smart has actively brought the tablet lifestyle closer to thousands of Filipinos. In early 2011 it introduced the unlimited Smart Bro SIM-Only Plan 999, the country’s first postpaid plan created specifically for tablet users.

With Smart Bro SIM-Only Plan 999, subscribers simply need to avail of the SIM which will enable them to instantly enjoy speeds of up to 3.6Mbps.

Users of WiFi-only tablets, meanwhile, can opt for a Pocket WiFi for only P150 a month with a Smart Bro SIM-Only Plan 495 (good for 50 hours).

In July of the same year, Smart introduced the first volume-based prepaid packages known as “Always On”. Unlike time-based packages, Always On allows users to pay only for the amount of data they wish to consume making it ideal for Filipinos who would like to have mobile connectivity but have limited budgets, or for subscribers who use their tablets as a secondary device.