From Smart, a tablet easy on the pocket | Inquirer Technology

From Smart, a tablet easy on the pocket

MANILA, Philippines—Dominant carrier Smart Communications Inc. has launched its own low-cost tablet computer, in line with its goal to “democratize” the broadband sector and increase the level of Internet access in the country.

In a statement, the company said it would bring in the China-made ZTE V9, a 7-inch Android 2.2-powered tablet. This will be bundled with Smart Bro—the wireless Internet service of Smart affiliate Smart Broadband Inc.

Launched last week, the ZTE V9 is Smart’s most affordable tablet computer to date with a suggested retail price of P12,795.


“The ZTE V9 is an affordable way for our subscribers to get the rich Internet experience of desktops and laptops, and the convenience and portability of Internet-capable mobile phones,” said Orlando B. Vea, Smart’s chief wireless advisor. “We know that many Filipinos still access the Internet mainly through Internet cafés and work or school computers. With low-cost Internet devices such as this, we aim to increase the country’s Internet population, by enabling more people to easily have their own personal Internet access device.”


Initially being offered for prepaid subscription, Smart is making available the ZTE V9 on affordable payment terms. Subscribers may pay in six monthly installments at no interest through participating credit cards.

It comes with a Smart Bro prepaid SIM with 5 days of unlimited Internet browsing. Subscribers may then register the Smart Bro prepaid account to avail of Unlisurf Packages, Per Minute Packages or All Text Packages.

Smart officials expect Smart Bro to “revolutionize” the way subscribers use data services through the ZTE V9, the company said.

With its Android operating, the new tablet can easily be customized by users, who can make their tablet more relevant to their needs and preferences with downloadable applications, or apps.

These apps, thousands of which are available in the Android Market, can expand the tablet’s functionalities with various information, connectivity, social networking, gaming and multimedia services—all supported by Smart Bro’s connectivity. These apps will also make it easier for Smart to deploy future data-driven services direct to its subscribers.

Aside from its data-centric features, Smart Bro Prepaid subscribers using the ZTE V9 may also use their Smart Bro account to access the tablet’s SMS and voice call functions.


Other key features of the ZTE V9 include a 3.0 MP camera, Wi-Fi, USB connectivity, storage memory expandable up to 32GB, and built-in apps, such as multimedia player, maps, YouTube, e-mail and others.

With the launch of the ZTE V9, and with other affordable tablets and smartphones coming soon, Smart officials are confident that they will be able to capture new subscribers, especially for its broadband services.

“We may think that we already have a mature and active Internet user group, but only around 30 percent of the country’s total population has Internet connectivity,” said Vea.

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Research firm Gartner earlier this year said tablets have already outsold netbook computers in the consumer electronics market. With the emergence of several low-cost tablets, Gartner expects sales of tablets to more than triple this year.

TOPICS: Computing & Information Technology, Internet, New Products, social networking, Telecommunications Services
TAGS: Computing & Information Technology, Internet, New Products, social networking, Telecommunications Services

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