The registered numbers of @tweetitow which it tweeted weeks ago puzzles me a lot. According to its tweet, @tweetitow has the following registered users:
Globe users: 909
Sun users: 192
Smart users: 145
I cannot understand why there is a very big disparity between the number of Globe and Smart @tweetitow registered users. Owkei, it might be because @tweetitow started with Globe gateway first. It took a month before they were able to put up the Smart gateway for @tweetitow. But, still the number of Smart users cannot be that low as 145, even lower than the Sun users to think that the Sun gateway of @tweetitow was added last.
Now if we look at the number of subscribers each mobile network has:
* Smart claimed they have 38 millions users. They are always known to be the leading mobile network provider in the Philippines.
* Globe has 20 million users but please note that this number was of last year. I cannot find a number of registered Globe users reported this year. But if we based it on the projected 15% annual growth, then we can say that Globe users this year might be somewhere in 23-25 million.
* Sun cellular has 9 million users.
This data makes it more puzzling for me that Smart has the most number of subscribers compared to Globe and Sun. But then there is a big difference between smart and globe users when it comes to @tweetitow number of registrations.
Now if you look at the Isip.ph log-in page, you would see that they only offer 2 access numbers as their gateways. If you see it, they only offer Globe and Sun numbers. They are directing the Smart users to the Globe access number.
Isip.ph is by GiveMe Unlimited has been in the mobile industry since 2001. Being in the industry for 8 years, I can say they probably have an idea of the trends on both the mobile networks and mobile users behavior. By not providing a Smart number gateway to their isip.ph users, can this mean that they already know that Smart users are less likely to use this kind of service — a Twitter 3rd party application?
Looking at these things, I cannot help but assume that Globe users are more techy, in this sense, more twitter-oriented than the Smart users. Are Globe users naturally more adept with the latest in technology? Or, can it be that the users are influenced by what services their mobile network is providing?
* If you look at Smart, you could say that they are very active in Facebook. They are the only mobile network that has direct linked up with Facebook. When you go to the mobile settings of facebook, you can see that the only option you have is Smart for mobile carrier. I can say that Smart is too focused on Facebook that they forgot about Twitter or other web applications that can also be connected via SMS. But we cannot blame Smart for having that decision for the reason that Facebook is now the number 1 most visited website in the Philippines.
Now, I am curious as to how many Smart subscribers are using this service.
* Now let us look at Globe, they have Globe UPD8 , which is for updating twitter, since August, 2008 which unfortunately is not so reliable (I can say that because I tried it over and over, and it did not just worked on me.). The Globe UPD8 introduction last year may have somehow primed the Globe users about twitter. This might be a reason why the Globe users are quite tuned in to twitter. Globe’s fail attempt at twitter update via SMS had somehow forced its users to find some alternative routes like @tweetitow or isip.ph or phtwitter.
In trying to resurrect itself from being unable to provide an SMS-based update for twitter or facebook, they offer the ‘Surf All Day Promo,’ the 24-hour surf via mobile internet for P20. I am not going to say it is an unlimited promo for the reason that it is limited to 24 hours plus you need to pay P20 for every website you are going to access. Following are the websites, which are mostly social networking websites, that you can surf 24 hours for P20:
This might sound a very good deal, for P20 you can connect 24 hours to any of the websites above. The downside here is that only those Globe subscribers who own mobile phones with internet connection capability can take advantage of this promo. This move of Globe again drives other Globe subscribers to find alternatives that can let them update twitter/facebook/plurk via SMS.
* In case with Sun Cellular, they have Sun Alertz which is for updating both twitter and facebook. Somehow the small player of the Philippine mobile network providers get it right. Globe and Smart, you should learn from Sun Cellular.
So what can we get from this?
* For one, if you want to test drive or offer a mobile application or service, and you are working on a limited budget. It is safer to go with the Globe users first even if Smart users has the biggest subscribers. For the reason that, based on the things I wrote here, Globe users are more open and proabably more interested to new and less popular technology.
* For the local tech innovators, this shows that there is a big opportunity in mobile technology. Take Globe for example, somehow they are struggling with how to connect to website application via SMS. You can create an application and offer it to Globe. Also, I believe Globe, Smart and Sun outsourced all their mobile applications. This can be a great playground to explore.
* I cannot also help but think that though Globe has lesser number of users compared to Smart, they might have bigger revenue for the reason that they have more users actively exploring and using mobile-based applications.
So are you the smart one, the globe-al thinker, or the sun which is the center of the universe? =)