Last week, in a meeting that I had with Mr. Jordan Ng, Product Manager of Arc Mobile - the newest player in the local handsets and tablets game, I asked him the one question that I'm sure is lingering in the minds of a lot of Pinoy gadget consumers about the brand.
"What makes Arc Mobile products unique or special compared to releases by local electronics giants like Cherry Mobile, Starmobile, and MyPhone?"
Jordan told me, "Mark, if you notice, the prices of our devices are far lower compared to what other local players are offering. We always try to come up with phones and slates that are very affordable yet deliver great performance. Arc Mobile Nitro 450QD, for example, sells for only Php 5,499 - that's an entry level price tag - but it's already a Quad Core handset running Android 4.2.1. At Arc Mobile, the price that we give our products is the lowest price we can possibly give them."
Then, as if to support that statement, he handed me retail units of the three top models that they currently offer and talked about their technical specifications and price points.
Arc Mobile Tab 720M 3G is 7-inch tablet with phone functionality, which means you can use to make calls and send text messages. This Dual SIM Dual Standby slate runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system with a 1 GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 based MediaTek MT6577 chipset and features a 2 MegaPixel main camera, 0.3 MegaPixel front cam, VGA video recorder, and a 3,000 mAh battery pack. One downside is that it only has 512 MB of RAM but it's something I can overlook consider that its SRP is just Php 5,599 and that it actually works as a handset.
One of Arc Mobile's releases that became a best-seller in Q2 2013 is Arc Mobile Nitro 500D -- and for good reason. This smartphone sells for just Php 4,199 and yet it already comes with stellar features and technical specifications including a massive 5-inch WVGA display, 1 GHz Dual Core MT6577 processor complemented by 512 MB of RAM, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS, 5 MegaPixel main camera with autofocus and LED flash, and a 2,000 mAh Li-Ion battery pack. On top of that, the phone flaunts a gorgeous design reminiscent of Samsung Galaxy Note2.
Finally, he showed me their current flagship release, the Arc Mobile Nitro 450QD. Priced at only Php 5,499, this model is currently the most affordable Quad Core Android smartphone in the Philippines. It runs Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean OS with its Quad Core 1 GHz MT6589 - similar to what powers Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0 and MyPhone A919i Duo - and comes replete with a 4.5-inch qHD display, 512 MB of RAM, 1,800 mAh Li-Ion battery pack, and WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity support.
Other interesting models include the Php 2,499 Arc Mobile Prime 350 running Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread OS with just a single core processor but nonetheless has a large 2,000 mAh Li-Ion battery for extended uptime. There's also the Php 3,999 Arc Mobile Tab 700M 7-inch single core ICS tablet with full phone functionality.
Impressed by their product line-up but baffled by the ultra-low SRP of their devices, I asked Jordan, "Do you still make enough profit considering the extremely low price tag of your products?"
He told me, "Thankfully, our releases are selling well so we are shipping enough units to make profit. Mark, our CEO is a geek himself; He didn't just enter this business to make money. He also wants to make the latest mobile innovations more accessible to Pinoys. That's the reason why we strive to make our products very affordable."
TP Friends, I'll be dedicating separate entries for each of the Arc Mobile devices mentioned in this post -- complete with unboxing photos, demo videos, and full review. I'm also thinking about giving away a couple of units that Jordan gave me during our meeting. If you want me to do an Arc Mobile Gadget Bonanza, kindly share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.