Both Globe Telecom and Smart Communications haven't really given word on the official release date of iPhone5 via their postpaid plans and prepaid kits. But, yesterday, we finally got confirmation from Apple on their flagship handset's formal launch in the country.
It's official. The Philippines joins Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Paraguay, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela in getting Apple iPhone 5 on December 14, 2012 -- that's exactly ten days from now.
I know. Finally. Obviously, this is already long overdue. In fact, Pinoy online stores and grey market sellers have had iPhone 5 on their shelves since September 21, 2012 -- -- the day it was launched in the US, Singapore, and Hong Kong (or Apple's 'priority' markets, clearly.)
Sure, we're getting the handset a bit ahead of other countries - like Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam - which will receive it on December 21st, but I think that's just not enough.
The Philippines is currently the fastest growing market for smartphones in the whole of South East Asia. According to GFK, smartphone volume sales in our country grew 326 percent in the last 12 months. Handset companies sold a whopping 3.34 million units in that period, compared to a year ago, which totaled to only 785,000.
Perhaps seeing great potential in the Philippines to be a key new market for their products, Samsung Mobile always releases their flagship handsets here at exactly the same time the company would in major territories like the USA and Europe. Kudos to Samsung, really, for doing that. And I'm sure they're totally reaping the rewards of this highly laudable marketing strategy.
As for Apple, well, I guess Pinoys will just always have to keep waiting and waiting before the Cupertino company - out of sheer kindness and generosity of spirit - finally decides to officially launch their smartphones here. That's just how it is. I mean, they don't even have a full-fledged office here handling actual operations.
Update: Globe Telecom and Smart Communications have just confirmed - via their official Twitter accounts - the availability of Apple iPhone 5 in the Philippines starting on December 14, 2012.
And apparently, Globe Telecom is now starting to take #GlobeiPhone5 pre-orders on its corporate website. The official price schedule, though, is not yet posted.