The Cat is Out of the Bag – SMART Announces Pricing for iPhone 5 Plans

As competition continues to heat up between the 2 Telecommunications giants, SMART Communications has already unveiled their new iPhone 5 Plans to the public. Quite surprised actually, because last year, they announced their iPhone 4S Plans 3 hours before they can officially distribute the units at midnight. They changed their game plan this time probably to lure more subscribers. Let’s check these plans out!

iPhone Plan 999

Last year’s iPhone Plan 999 is pretty much similar to this year’s iPhone 5 plan. The big difference? The new iPhone 5 Plan 999 has Unlimited Data. This is a very good deal for those who want to avail the most affordable iPhone Plan. Just like last year, you will have to pay an extra Php 999 on top of Plan 999 (16GB unit, higher amount for 32Gb & 64GB) for the next 24 months, but at least you don’t have to pay any cash out just to avail this amazing plan!

iPhone Plan 2499

This is where I became really envious. I am currently under the original iPhone Plan 2499 when I got my iPhone 4S at the launch last year. The old and new plans have the same amount of free voice minutes and SMS. Just like the new iPhone Plan 999, the new iPhone Plan 2499 also has Unlimited Data. What’s more, the 32GB variant is also free under Plan 2499 whereas last year a subscriber has to pay an extra 200 pesos a month to get a 32GB unit under the same plan. Why I am so envious? Because my original iPhone Plan 2499 only has a measly 1GB of data, and with my kind of usage, that wouldn’t really cut it.

All-In Plans

SMART introduced their All-In Plans late last year. When they finally announced that they are going to offering the iPhone 4S, I figured I’ll get it under an All-In plan because it will let me customise my consumable plan. For example, If I subscribe to an All-In Plan 2500, I can subscribe to Unlimited Data for Php 1,200 a month and use the rest of the remaining Php 1,300 in my consumable plan for everything else, like subscribing to an Unlimited call and text within the SMART network. They have cheaper call rates too to other networks when you get a higher plan. To my disappointment, the iPhone 4S wasn’t offered under the All-In Plan (they eventually offered it earlier this year).

This year, the iPhone 5 will also be available under the All-In Plans. There are cash outs involved but you can even avail an iPhone 5 for as low as All-in Plan 500.

Data Plans

All of SMART’s Data Plans offer Unlimited Data. The free voice minutes and SMS are also similar to last year’s plans, but I noticed the cash outs are a bit pricier than before. I do not remember how much was the cash out for Unlimited Data Plan 1500 for the iPhone 4S, but the new Unlimited Data Plan 2000 is Php 900 more than last year’s Php 2,500 cash out for the 16GB model. Not really a biggie if you ask me.

Where are the LTE Plans?

According to reports, Apple themselves will have to make sure that the LTE networks are compatible with the iPhone 5. From what I’ve gathered, if Apple gives a thumbs-up sign, then a software update will be pushed to iPhone 5 users to activate their LTE. Until then, we will have to wait for the LTE Plans to surface.

So Are The Plans Better This Year?

As a whole, I definitely think so. These new plans have more options and offer better deals compared to last year’s original iPhone plans. Browsing through these plans made me feel that SMART is obviously prepared for the iPhone 5 war this season.

I’ll check out Globe’s plans and write about it soon.

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