MANILA, Philippines—Wireless telecommunications giant Smart Communications is set to heat up competition in the offering of telco services bundled with Apple products with the rollout of Apple’s game-changing smartphone iPhone to premium subscribers within this year.
Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of Smart’s parent firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., confirmed that Smart was in talks with Apple to launch the latest version of the iPhone—iPhone4S—before yearend.
Similar to what happened to bigger markets like the United States, Germany and Canada, consumer electronics giant Apple has abandoned the regime of exclusive iPhone distribution.
With the lapse of the exclusivity deal with Globe Telecom, the original iPhone official carrier in the Philippines, Smart is now getting ready to launch iPhone4S as well.
The article also mentions the possibility to bring in Apple iPad tablets with data plans.
It seems that a Twitter hashtag campaign has started called #smartiphone. You can try to follow this for more developments. This development is rather interesting as SMART has already cornered exclusivity deals with HTC for their Android phones. WIth the iPhone 4S deal, has SMART locked in the smartphone business for both Android and iOS?
Aside: During the launch of the Netphone 701 and SmartNet platform at the Jump store, one of the execs did hint of being in talks with Apple for something related to smartphones. It seems like the cat is out of the bag. Are we going to see a SmartNet app pretty soon on the iTunes Store?
[N.B. There is a general disclosure on my blog’s about page on who I work / consult for.]