|An Apple iPhone 5 phone is displayed in the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York in this September 21, 2012 file photo.
Photo by Lucas Jackson, Reuters
MANILA, Philippines – The much-anticipated Apple iPhone 5 went on sale in the Philippines on Friday, with the Globe Telecom and Smart Communications launch events generating a lot of buzz on social media.
On Thursday evening, Globe and Smart both held splashy, celebrity-filled launch parties to introduce the iPhone 5 to Filipinos.
Celebrities such as Kris Aquino, Bamboo and Paulo Avelino flocked to Globe Telecom’s event at the new Glorietta Activity Center in Makati.
Over at Smart's event at the atrium of the Resorts World Manila, American pop duo LMFAO made a surprise appearance and performed at midnight.
The top two telcos have reported strong demand for the iPhone 5.
Globe said some excited customers lined up as early as 5:30 a.m. on Friday at its fulfillment store at Bonifacio Global City just to be the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5.
Globe and Smart are offering competitive postpaid plans for the iPhone 5, which is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever.
For the iPhone 5, Globe said it is placing importance on giving consumers the "best iPhone experience."
"We were the first to bring the iPhone to the Philippines… What we discovered is that for iPhone customers, yes the plan is important but it’s all about the end-to-end customer experience," Peter Bithos, Globe Telecom senior adviser for consumer business, said in a press conference on Friday.
Globe said it is offering subscribers a chance to customize their plans with over 21 million possible combinations.
Customers can avail of the iPhone 5 for as low as P1,799 monthly under the Unli Surf 999 with a monthly cashout of P800. It is also available at P1,999 monthly under the Unli Surf P1,799 with P200 monthly cashout with unlimited data, P800 monthly consumable for calls and texts and 3 call and text freebies.
Subscribers can also get a free 4-month mobile phone protection insurance under Globe Gadget Care, free 1-year subscription to GCASH American Express Virtual Card, discounts on iPhone 5 accessories and free Globe Mobile apps.
For Globe subscribers who still have existing postpaid plans, they can still get the iPhone 5 under the "Reset" program that allows subscribers to renew or extend their existing contract and get the device at a discount.
On the other hand, Smart announced two plans for the iPhone 5.
For Plan 2499, the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 5 comes free, while cash out for the 64GB is at P6,000. The older iPhone 4S 16GB and iPhone 4 8GB will also be free under this plan. Plan 2499 includes 300 voice minutes to any network, 300 text messages to any network and unlimited
The Plan 999 offers 40 voice minutes, 100 text messages and unlimited data. Under this plan, cash out for the iPhone 5 16B is P19,000, for the 32GB, P24,000; and for the 64GB, P29,000. iPhone 4S 16GB is at P15,000 and iPhone 4 8GB is at P6,000. – With report from Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com