Internet Access Using Smart Phones And Tablets
More than two (2) months ago, I had an article about smart phones taking away i-café customers and just recently a telco offers inexpensive smart phones in its effort to complete its range of high-end to mass market handsets. The inexpensive smart phones will be available for free to post-paid subscribers on plans as low as PhP500.00 per month and the units will be as capable as the more expensive ones in accessing the Internet. For prepaid subscribers, the low-end smart phones can be bought from the telco at PhP5,000 to P6,000.00 per unit and maybe at lesser cost if sourced from cellphone stores.
Aside from the availability of inexpensive smart phones, the coming of affordable tablet computers (tablets for short) are also expected within this year. While the cheapest low-end tablet unit is now priced at a little less than PhP20,000.00, the market is expected to come out with reliable models at a much lower amount. The telcos, for their part, are seen to offer high-end tablets as free-option handsets for their high-end subscribers. Tablets are said to possibly replace the netbooks as units of choice in accessing the Internet for activities difficult to do using smart phones.
Fast 3G Internet mobile connections for smart phones and tablets are now available in many parts of the country at a regular rate of Ten (PhP10.00) Pesos per 30-minute access. Current promo rate of a telco has it for as low as Thirty (PhP30.00) Pesos for five (5) continuous hours while another provider offers 24-hour Internet access for only Fifty (PhP50.00) Pesos. These affordable Internet rates can be availed of by subscribers if there is no free Wi-Fi connection in an area. Free Wi-Fi connections can be had in shopping malls, coffee shops and some fast food restaurants.
It is generally accepted that encoding long reports, doing spreadsheets and preparing presentations cannot be done conveniently on a tablet even when applications for such activities become available. These jobs plus the research work and playing games remain to be activities for desktops and laptops. However, email communications and social networking using smart phones and tables are agreed to be easy things to do when users access the Internet. With this scenario coming soon, it seems that i-cafés would be left with the gamers and a few researchers to cater in the near future.