Samsung and HTC Android mobile phones are in the Philippines
The Android open mobile platform initiated by Google is one very exciting mobile operating system that I have been following. Mainly because it’s open source and the operating system core is based on Linux. I’ve recently gone to different mobile phone shops in the Philippines to check out whether Android based mobile phones are starting to appear at the shops. After my trips, I’m a bit happy and sad from what I have found. Here’s why.
More than 20 different brands and models of Android mobile phones are already hitting the North American and European markets. In the Phillippines, I know of only two mobile phone manufacturers that have officially offered Android based cell phones in the local market — Samsung and HTC. Although you can find other brands like Motorola’s Milestone and even Google’s Nexus One (actually made by HTC). Their prices are still way off the reach of the majority. For instance, the Nexus One which sells for US$530 (about 30K pesos) in the US are priced at 45,000 pesos locally. Even the Motorola Milestone, which has an average price of 35,000 pesos, are still way out of reach of most Pinoys.
Of the two brands of Android mobile phones, HTC, which made the first Android phone called the G1, offers the HTC Hero at Php 30,000+ locally which is still pricey. The HTC Hero mobile phone specifications offer the basic things that you would find on a smartphone like a 320×480 capacitive touch screen display, GPS, wifi, 3.5G data capability, quadband GSM, external memory slot and an autofocus camera (although there is no front camera). At that price, now wonder, Android hasn’t picked up phase on the local market.
But here’s where the potential game changer comes in — Samsung. Samsung has recently introduced it’s Samsung i5700 Spica Android based mobile phone locally. The specifications of the Samsung i5700 is almost the same as the HTC Hero with three (actually four) of things that I found very attractive for an Android mobile phone in it’s class. The first thing is the CPU, the i5700 has an 800Mhz CPU compared to the HTC Hero’s only 528Mhz CPU. Samsung has also included it’s DNSe (Digital Natural Sound Engine) technology into the mobile phone. DNSe is the same technology found on Samsung’s media players. The third is a DivX encoder, which enables the Samsung i5700 Spica to play DivX movies.
The fourth item is actually the major thing here. Samsung has actually priced the Spica i5700 in the local price range of the Nokia 5800 ExpressMusic. Given the estimated price of about Php14,000 locally, I hope that Samsung would put some marketing activities so that the Android based mobile phones would have exposure locally.
Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.