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Unbox.PH Top 10 Tech Issues and Trends in 2017

As we were going through the list of the top articles on Unbox, we couldn’t help but notice stories that were almost local tech historical milestones for the Philippines. We’ve compiled and organized them and put together this list of the top 10 tech issues and trends for PH tech for the year. Check them out and let us know what you guys think!

*This is in no particular order

10. Explosion of Bitcoin

How to buy Bitcoin in the Philippines

This year saw the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The value grew more than a thousand percent in just 12 months and created millionaires all over the world overnight, including here in the Philippines. There was a major correction this December but almost all currencies are climbing quickly signaling a healthy recovery.

Even the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had to make a comment about Bitcoin already as they shared that more than P300M monthly remittances come through cryptocurrency channels during the later part of 2017.

One thing is for sure, 2018 will be another interesting year for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the Philippines. If you want to get started, here’s our guide on How to Buy Bitcoin in the Philippines.

9. LTFRB Crackdown on Uber, Grab, and Everyone Else

This was the year where we saw stiffer regulations imposed by the LTFRB on ride-sharing services like Uber and Grab. There was even a historic 1-month BAN on Uber after they refused to comply with several orders. This forced Uber to pay almost half a billion pesos in penalties just to resume their services.

The LTFRB isn’t done yet though. As we end the year, they closed down popular motorbike ride-sharing app, Angkas. Wunder is also hot on the sights of the regulatory commission.

Hopefully 2018 will be the year where we see new and progressive laws passed that will create a healthy ecosystem for ride-sharing companies, regulatory bodies, and customers.

8. Flagships Go Over Php50,000

In terms of gadgets, 2017 was the year where premium flagship smartphones priced themselves over Php50,000. While it might mean better margins for the likes of Samsung and Apple, it doesn’t mean that people will keep buying them in the same volumes as before. In fact reports are already coming out that the iPhone X isn’t doing too well based on the original forecast.

Is Apple’s iPhone X Selling Well? Not really

If companies will charge that much for a phone, they better make sure they deliver breakthrough innovations that have never been seen before. If it’s just incremental upgrades or gimmicks, it would be better to be more reasonable with their pricing strategy.

See Also: iPhone X Review — a Hype Free and Real Life Take on a Php50k Phone

7. Midrange Phones Dominate the Market

2017 the year when Chinese brands OPPO, Vivo, and Huawei pretty much bought the entire market with their insane advertising and marketing efforts. Heck you can’t escape their salesmen when you walk through gadget areas of malls these days. All of the top tier celebrities are also their endorsers save for the ones that local brand Cherry Mobile was able to snag.

If you want more proof of how strong these companies were, check out our most read posts of 2017. The best performing reviews were mid-range devices from these brands.

Best of Unbox 2017: Top 50 Most Read Posts of the Year

By the way, it would be an injustice to not mention that Samsung also killed it it in this segment. Their J7 series crushed it big time and this allowed them to deliver significant sales to make up for the botched Note 7 launch.

6. NTC Blocks Porn Sites that Have Child Pornography

Earlier this year the government started blocking Porn Sites that were proven to have child pornography content. This was primarily based on the insane child pornography underground business that has been thriving in the Philippines (which is really sad).

5. Jack Ma Visits the Philippines

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma became the darling of PH social media when he visited the Philippines and dropped a barrage of one-liner quotes. We were fortunate enough to be there during his session at DLSU and even at the cozier media event afterwards. He was truly inspiring and it’s great to know that he’s investing heavily into turning the Philippines (and Asia) into a cashless society.

What I Learned from Watching Jack Ma’s Lecture Live in De La Salle University

5. Lazada Crushes It with their Online Revolution Sales

2017 was also the year where we saw a big boom in e-commerce. With the major investment from Jack Ma and Alibaba, Lazada stepped up their marketing, advertising, and operations in the Philippines. We saw several major sale events throughout the year with the biggest one being their 11.11 and 12.12 sales just in the last 2 months.

I don’t know about you guys but when I went to the malls this December, there was a significant drop in the number of people that I saw compared to last year. Parking was way easier and it wasn’t elbow-to-elbow even in popular malls like SM Megamall. Are we starting to see the impact of e-commerce on retail sales?

If you wanna jump in on this trend and start your own e-commerce store, check out our guides:

How to be an Online Seller on Lazada
How to Open a Store on Shopify
How to Open a Store on TackThis

4. Jollibee Makes the Whole Country Cry

Jollibee made the whole nation cry with their “Kwentong Jollibee” series last February. Apart from the hugots, it was a milestone digital campaign that showed that brands didn’t have to go traditional TV anymore to get their reach and message across. It also showed that good storytelling is the best way to go viral on digital mediums such as Facebook.

Our Top 5 Favorite Jollibee Videos That Went Crazy Viral

3. News of a Third Telecom?

A “third telco” has been in tech news for the last several years. It started with the rumors of Telstra partnering with San Miguel but that broke down last year. Fast forward to 2017 and we have another potential player coming in. President Duterte hasn’t been to coy about his wish to have China Telecom enter the market. It will be interesting to see if 2018 is the year where we finally see third party challenge the current two telcos in the Philippines.

2. Cashless Society?

2017 was the year where we also saw the beginning of the “Cashless Society” Revolution. Companies such as Paymaya have been aggressive with their efforts to get more users and to have their QR payment facility offered by merchants such as malls, convenience stores, and food parks. We made a quick guide on Paymaya that you can read here.

Apart from Paymaya and Gcash, banks have also stepped up their efforts. BDO has been investing HEAVILY on their ATM-Debit card, tapping no less than Sarah Geronimo to push it. It will be interesting to see if 2018 is the year where we finally see major adoption of this technology in the Philippines.

1. Can Local Brands Fight Back?

cherry mobile flare s6 premium limited edition unboxing

The last few years were really about local smartphone brands like Cherry Mobile, MyPhone, and Starmobile. However the tide clearly turned this year when OPPO, Samsung, Huawei, and Vivo dropped their midrange prices and upped the feature set of their offerings. Cherry Mobile is still putting up a strong fight but other local companies have started to slow down. MyPhone even transformed into a network marketing company.

And that’s a wrap! How about you guys? What were the milestone moments and trends that you saw in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below!

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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