My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Samsung Galaxy smartphones and Blackberrys are tops on Jamaican Searches according to Google Trends - Importation Guide to Selling smartphone to Jamaicans

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Samsung Galaxy smartphones and Blackberrys are tops on Jamaican Searches according to Google Trends - Importation Guide to Selling smartphone to Jamaicans

“The Caribbean and Latin America release is set for November. You can use that indicative date for release in Jamaica

Head of Corporate Communications Manager at LIME Elon Parkinson during an interview with the Jamaica Observer in the Sunday Gleaner

The Apple iPhone 5S and its Bread Tag Colour themed sister the Apple iPhone 5C will touchdown on Telecom Provider LIME Network sometime in November 2013 as stated in the articleNew iPhone may not be so cheap in Jamaica”, published Sunday, September 29, 2013 BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

And as predicted in my blog article entitled “Apple has launched the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C on Tuesday September 10th 2013 - Apple iPhone Strategy is to Go Global to beat Samsung” the Apple iPhone won’t be cheap, as the prices shown in my blog article above are for 2 year contract phones. Telecom Provider LIME currently sells the Apple iPhone 5 on Contract, but at prices nowhere near as low on 2 years contract as the Telecom Providers.

The Cost for the Apple iPhone 5S unlocked and without a 2 year contract as detailed in
Unlocked iPhone 5S: Is The Price Worth The Extra Perks?”, published 1 October 2013 by Anna Mathews, Tekrieg. You can also check the Apple Website for the prices for the unlocked Apple iPhone 5S and the unlocked Apple iPhone 5C! 

Essentially each smartphone unlocked is only cheaper than the other by US$100. Interestingly the use of poly-Carbonate in making the Apple iPhone 5C reduces the cost to Apple by US$42 per smartphone as stated in the article “UBS: iPhone 5C Plastic Saves Apple $42”, published Sep 30, 2013, The Wall Street Journal, and thus increases their bottom line significantly.

Is it worth it to pay that much to unlock your Apple iPhone when other smartphones exist that are cheaper? Depends on how much you like the idea of being able to roam free with a Golden Apple iPhone 5S or a multi-coloured and very durable Apple iPhone 5C. If so, then let your conscience set you free and roam as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel to eliminate Roaming Charges by Tuesday October 1 2013 - Minister Paulwell Negotiates with LIME for US Calls free of Roaming, proving Everything is Possible”.

Reason for this disparity in prices – Facey Commodity wears the Ring of Power

And will there be a difference in pricing this time around, oweing to the fact that ATL (Appliance Traders Limited) is packing the same smartphones in their Apple themed Stores as explained in my blog article entitled “ATL is now the Official Distributor of Apple Product in Jamaica as of July 2013 - Jamaica can now share in the innovation with Apple’s Future Products Despicable Me 2”?

I’m guessing no, as if you’ve read my blog article entitled “How to purchase items and subscribe to Magazines online and ship them to Jamaica” you’d realize after shipping the smartphones into Jamaica, even if they’re refurbished and purchased bulk in containers, Telecom Provider LIME is gonna resell them to recover the cost of the shipping and handling and the related Customer Duties.

Actually Telecom Provider LIME doesn’t import smartphones; that’s all done for them by Facey Commodity, the same importer used by Telecom Provider Digicel and the same company responsible for making Prepaid Calling Cards as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Prepaid Cycle and How Prepaid Credit gives your SIM Card access to the Prepaid Network”.

According to The Jamaica Observer article, Google Trends lists the following smartphones searches from Jamaica on a scale of 1 to 100 searches as an indication of smartphones of interest among Jamaicans:

1.      90 for Samsung
2.      80 for Blackberry
3.      68 for the Apple iPhone

In September 2012, the scores were a lot different:

1.      73 for Blackberry
2.      27 for Google Android
3.      31 for the Apple iPhone

Clearly the interest in Blackberry has fallen even as interest in the Apple iPhone in Jamaica had arisen, at least in terms of Google Searches as I’d pointed out in my blog article entitled “Blackberry popularity wanes as Jamaicans go smartphones - Android and Apple's Smartphone Revolution” and my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple iPhone boosts Jamaican smartphone usage as BB goes Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”.

But a new kid is rising in the form of Samsung smartphones even as interest in Blackberry is waning. Blackberry has now sold themselves to the biggest shareholder of Blackberry shares Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited who already own roughly 10% of Blackberry for US$4.7 billion dollars as stated in Fairfax To Buy BlackBerry For US$4.7b”, published Tuesday September 24, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Cost of smartphones still high – Cheaper 2 Year Contract Plans and handsets needed

All this says is that the pricing of the Apple iPhone that’s coming to Jamaica still bedevil its mass adoption and the new Apple iPhone 5C doesn’t make it anywhere near affordable for Developing World Countries. Meanwhile the Samsung Galaxy smartphones, also too pricey and hot to touch, still offer Budget phones that suit those with smaller pockets.

With the Trend towards Dual-SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) smartphones as predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Trend towards Dual-SIM Smartphones developing in Jamaica as MNP Approaches” accelerating as May 2014 approaches, expect more budget offerings that are also Dual-SIM.

Right now the cheapest smartphone is the Digicel DL600 a rebranded Alcatel One Touch S’Pop as displayed in my popular blog article entitled “Digicel has launched DL600 and Blackberry Q10 in Jamaica on Thursday 30th 2013 - The Purge of Features phones in a gradual ramp-up towards Data Services and smartphone in Jamaica

Similarly, with Blackberry prices now falling and getting cheaper to import, the current glut of smartphones means that prices for them will be cheaper. Hence the increased interested a la Google Trends!

Cheaper Postpaid Plans, which I’m still awaiting along with lower cost Fixed Line Services such as Digicel DigiHome and a revived LIME Homefone Xpress as described in my blog article entitledDigicel rolls out DigiHome, their first Residential Postpaid Fixed Line Service - Ramp up for Landline Number Portability and LIME’s Homefone Xpress”, are needed to spur an increase in smartphone adoption in time for MNP (Mobile Number Portability) in May 2014.

New Telecom Regulator coming in December 2013 – Ban on Unlocked smartphones needed

At the same time, the new Telecom Regulator, which is slated to come on stream by the end of December 2013, just in time for the announcement of winner of the Telecom License Bid as stated in my blog article entitledStakeholder Consultation Forum on the 700 MHz Spectrum Auction - How the Spectrum Auction process for Band 17 and Band 13 of the 700 Mhz Band Works” need to take charge of the Telecoms Sector.

They need to impose a ban on the unlocking of smartphone and make it mandatory that all persons who have a smartphone musty have a Postpaid Voice and Data Plan. Also smartphone unlocking should be made illegal and punishable via a hefty JA$100,000 fine or 5 years imprisonment.

This is currently case in the United States of America to protect their Telecom Industry as recommended in my blog article entitled “Librarian of the Library of Congress makes smartphone unlocking Illegal - How Jamaica can benefit from the Safe Haven of MNP by banning unlocking of smartphones and Tablets”.

As Americans continue to abandon Blackberry in droves and flock to the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones as noted in my blog article entitled Apple is Top Gun in smartphones Sales but Samsung generates the most Web Traffic - ComScore Stats for First Quarter of 2013 and StatCounter Stats for June 2012 to June 2013”, the lower prices for Blackberry being abandoned left right and center means they’ll continue to enjoy increased popularity in Jamaica.

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