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Philippine Tech Predictions for 2016

Last year was a roller-coaster ride for the tech industry with big stories, innovations and surprises. We think 2016 will be an equally exciting year as well. Here are our top five predictions for the year:

Telstra backs out of the Philippines. Much has been said about Telstra entering the Philippines but talks with San Miguel might not fall through and San Miguel could just go at it on its own under the name BellTel. That doesn’t mean Telstra is completely out of the picture. They could still partner with San Miguel at a later time, perhaps past 2016.

Unlimited Mobile Internet returns at a premium price. The year 2015 was the year we all saw unlimited mobile internet being wiped out of subscription plans. Globe was the first one to implement it and Smart followed suit after seeing the scheme was working (better ARPU and net income results). Now, subscribers are already used to the limit (1.5GB to 15GB per month). In 2016, we might see unlimited mobile internet make a comeback. Of course, it will be an upsell of the current volume plans and could go as high as P2,000 to P2,500 per month on top of your plan. This will be mostly targeted towards very heavy nomadic users that rely on mobile internet as their primary connection.

The $10 Android Smartphone. A sub-P500 smartphone that runs on Android is not a far-fetched possibility in 2016. It could be very basic, even running an older version like Jellybean but it will be much better than the regular feature phones that are still selling quite well. We already saw a P1,000 smartphone last month so it should just be a matter of time before a P500 Android handset emerges in the next 12 months.

Broadband Internet hits P500 a month. Believe it or not, prepaid dial-up internet is still popular these days. Users are mostly casual internet users that are frequently out for work and get access from the office. Their only use for prepaid dial-up internet is casual checking of email at a budget of P150 to P300 a month. A P500-a-month broadband internet (DSL or cable) will further take up the thinning dial-up market.

A local mobile brand will go public. There are actually a lot of local smartphone brands that are killing it in the market so it is not unlikely that one of them will go public. The likely candidates are either Cherry Mobile or MyPhone but our money is on CM as they’re currently on top of the heap. The Initial Public Offering (IPO) will help them expand their footprint in the region and scale up.

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