Both Globe and Smart put up their pre-order pages for the Apple iPhone 4S yesterday. When telcos offer the same phone it usually boils down to network strength, brand loyalty, and customer service that determines the decision of the consumer. However Smart wants to change that paradigm by including the SmartNet service when they start offering the iPhone 4S.
Here’s a photo of SmartNet running on the iPhone 4S:
Let me refresh your memory on some of the major features of SmartNet:
- Update Facebook and Twitter for free (as long as you maintain 1 peso balance)*
- Free messaging via Smart Chat. Think of it as BBM but this one works across phones that have SmartNet installed. Right now Smart has this on the Samsung Galaxy Y, Smart Netphone, HTC Sensation XL and XE.
- SmartNet Global Directory: Find your friends who are using SmartNet quickly. Cloud FTW.
*Note that this doesn’t mean you can access the Facebook and Twitter app for free. If this is anything like the Android SmartNet what you can do is check out the latest updates via a stream on the SmartNet app itself. You can then post updates to your social networking accounts via the SmartNet app as well.
Is it any good?
So the next question is… will SmartNet sway people to pick Smart over Globe? That really remains to be seen. Most people who get the iPhone 4S will probably get it with unlimited data already which makes the “update Twitter/Facebook for free” selling point pointless. That leaves you with the global directory and Smart Chat. At the end it will still probably boil down to brand loyalty, customer service, and network strength. Of course this will all change if SmartNet reaches critical mass and a lot more people start to use the Smart Chat feature more. One messaging system that connects Android, iOS, and maybe even Windows and BlackBerry later on. 😀
Lastly, SmartNet definitely has a lot of potential especially if it becomes available on the App Store and if Smart also starts to offer lower end and more affordable iPhone models like the 3GS. Now that would be something.