One of the reasons why I had decided to support Smart’s efforts as a consultant early this year was due to their shift in direction, moving away from the “archaic” cellular business (i.e. SMS and calls) and shifting attention to data and mobile applications. From the words of Bong Mojica at Mobile World Congress, SMART is slowly shifting their culture and products to that of a web company.
Today, SmartNet released the Netphone app into the Android Marketplace (for those of you asking for the iOS version for your iPhone, that’s in the works too). Download the SmartNet app and turn your Android device into a Netphone. If you’re on mobile, simply do a search for “SmartNet” in the Android Marketplace and download it for free. Enjoy!
*Note that this is compatible up to Android v2.3 Gingerbread. The v4 Ice Cream Sandwich update is in the works.
SmartNet is simply a suite of applications that works closely with the Smart Network which makes using the services easier than ever. These services are the Global Directory, Social Stream, Netphone Messaging, Safe Browse and many more.
This application currently supports Smart subscribers only. Non-Smart subscribers may visit www.smartnet.ph on the web or m.smartnet.ph for mobile.
I had a similar idea. But not with a Nokia phone. If you check my review of the Lenovo A60, you’ll realize that this is the perfect Android device that can feed both SUN and Smart. At a retail price of PHP 8,900.00 the phone can be offered for free at a very low plan. Add to the fact that you’re running an Android 2.3 device, it’s too epic to refuse.
The telco industry is always exciting. And when the competitions exchange blows, there’s always the aftermath of awesomeness that, in the end, gives more choices to consumers. In the end, they win.
This is a photo of SmartNet running on iOS (Yes, the iPhone 4s now has Netphone capabilities). Way back in February, I talked about my trip to Barcelona and divulged the whole deal with SmartNet and the Netphone which is essentially Smart’s plans to turn itself into one big social network and make mobile Internet more affordable via smartphones. You, like me, might be thinking “Hey I already use mobile Internet on my phone!” but the truth of the matter is, the Twitter and Facebook we see everyday is one big bubble of the same social circles we have in real life. There are still millions of Filipinos who do not have Internet access but amazingly have found the first entry into cyberspace not from a computer, but from a phone. This credit is actually due to Nokia who sold many GPRS/EDGE-enabled phones in the last 5 years. And that’s the hole SmartNet tries to fill.
SmartNet is rather ubiquitous on Android right now — the 5.3″ version for the Samsung galaxy Note just came out. Another juicy development is that Smartnet is also coming to iOS5 via the iTunes store so that’s a lot of added value if you’re a Smart Subscriber. So the “grand plan” is showing signs barely a year into the Netphone project with Smart releasing the SmartNet platform for both Android and iOS, the top two smartphone platforms in the world. Other platforms coming.
Oh and this company I work with is pretty damn agressive. Just take a look at Social Mention:
Mitch (@mpadua) from SMART’s Netphone team posted an updated version of the SmartNet app running on a Samsung Galaxy Note side by side the HTC Desire S. The new version adds support for the really big 5.3″ screen and as you can see, the widget is really elegant and does not take up the entire width of the screen. The Internet icon has also changed.
We’re expecting to see an APK of the app’s latest version soon.
The Inquirer reported this evening that SMART Communications would be offering the new Apple iPhone 4S come end of 2011.
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.]