Dual-SIM in the Philippines

Dual-simNokia's recently produced a couple of Dual-SIM phones which I haven't seen around much in Europe. When visiting the Philippines, however, I could observe them being marketed by the local Nokia stores alongside pretty much anything else in the Nokia portfolio, including the Nokia N9 and, as a major absentee, the Nokia Lumia.

While observing the people in a park in Makati, Manila's business district, I noticed that quite a number of people had at least two phones with them, some of them even three. When asking why, I was told that most people use on-net "all you can eat" packages while voice calls and SMS messages are rather expensive. So it seems to be cheaper to get a couple of prepaid SIMs from different networks and extra phones rather than to pay for inter-operator charges. So for people with a quite restrictive budget, a Nokia Dual-SIM phone probably makes a lot of sense.

People in the Makati district, however, probably have a significantly higher income than the average consumer in the country and I could observe that one of the two phones was usually a smartphone while the other was a what many people a low end phone. The smartphone was usually either an iPhone or a high end Samsung or HTC Android based device. I failed to see anyone using a Nokia smartphone.

One thought on “Dual-SIM in the Philippines”

  1. Two or three years ago a colleague of mine was looking for a phone with 2 SIMs for his wife. Being a fan of Nokia he wanted to get Nokia and nothing else but Nokia. However, he didn’t manage to get a dual-SIM Nokia phone because Nokia wasn’t producing any. He was irate: “Why Nokia aren’t making dual-SIM mobiles while other manufactures do?” He ended up by buying a dual-SIM Samsung cell phone. Two months ago I came across this article http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1848514 which says that Nokia maintained its place on the top mainly because of dual-SIM phones in emerging markets. So, it took Nokia three years to realize that people might need mobiles with 2 SIMs.
    This example and your article once again reflect how Nokia is lagging behind. The company is too slow to follow trends. When announcing their collaboration with Microsoft Nokia’s CEO Elop said: “We missed the trends, we fell behind”. He implied that Nokia didn’t manage to produce a smartphone to compete with iPhone or Android devices, but, in my opinion, that phrase just reflects what Nokia has been in recent times. They need to be more creative and think faster; otherwise the company may come into obscurity.
    Here is another example. I own Nokia N97. A couple of months ago the sliding switch that unlocks the touch screen on my device broke. I decided to download an unlocking app from Ovi store to overcome the need to use the sliding switch. However, I encountered that most of the unlocking apps aren’t free and if there is a free version, it is usually with limited possibilities. There weren’t much description about apps as well. So I needed to install an application, examine it if it had features I needed. I needed not only to be able to unlock the touch screen, but also a locking button to lock the screen, which only few apps had. After quite a long search and several installation processes I was getting frustrated. Then I finally found the app I was dreaming about. Hooray! It was free; it had a locking button that you could position in any place on the touch screen, and it had a nifty locking screen. Not only was I able to unlock my phone, but also launch a predefined app by dragging a circle on its shortcut. I was very pleased and started customizing the unlocking app. I was locking and unlocking my smartphone, checking how the app worked. Then a notification appeared saying: “Sorry, buddy, but you’ve already used your free 20 unlocking. If you want to use the application further, buy a paid version.” That was it. I could hardly restrain myself from smashing my Nokia. Most of colleagues of mine have already got iOS or Android devices and can download many free apps, and what have I got for my loyalty to Nokia? – “Sorry, buddy, you’ve already used your free 20 unlocking? “ How are Nokia going to compete with other manufactures? They lack application at Ovi market and if you do find something worthy they try to rip you off. It seems like authorities at Nokia still live in a world of 5 years ago and still doesn’t know that their competitors have been offering thousand applications for free for a long time. I understand that I possess quite an aged smartphone and that it may not be reasonable to produce many apps for such old mobiles. However, why don’t make those apps left at Ovi store free for users? At least, users won’t want to smash their Nokia as I wanted to do.
    This example shows that it’s not only a hardware that counts nowadays. Software is probably of prime importance now. Was Nokia right to embrace an operating system with 2% market share? I really doubt it. Nokia has been famed by its hardware, but software is of essence now. Why can’t Nokia do what HTC for instance does – you want a Windows mobile – here you are, want an Android device – here it is. Nokia with Android would have been an unbeatable duet, in my opinion.
    Anyway, I like Nokia and wish them luck with their Lumia smartphones. It’s the last major mobile manufacture in Europe and I keep my fingers crossed for Nokia to retain its position. Nokia still has a chance to be my next smartphone. However, that chance is shrinking.

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