Surge in sales of smartphones

Published: Friday | December 27, 2013 Comments 0

While Jamaica ranks poorly in its take up of broadband Internet, the country is seeing a surge in the sales of smartphones, according to local mobile companies Digicel and Lime.

Both companies are selling Internet-capable smartphones for under $10,000.

Digicel said the sales for its own-brand Digicel DL600 and DL700 phones now more than double the sales for other devices.

"This is because of the great value to customers. The handset price is very attractive, the phone has all the features that customers want, it's a touchscreen with a very fast processor and it has two cameras; and so with Digicel customers have full social media functionality," Patrick King, distribution director at Digicel said in a news release.

increase in sales

The Digicel smartphone range begins at $5,900 when customers purchase a three-month data plan.

He said "customers can browse the Internet (and), choose from over one million apps on the Google Play Store."

Elon Parkinson, corporate communications manager at LIME, told the Financial Gleaner that its smartphones are "flying off the shelves."

The increase in sales is also driving up the number of customers who are using data, according to Digicel, which has data plans that start at J$100 for two days.

"We are seeing a revolution in consumer behaviour. Everyone now wants the Internet on their mobile phone, and not just in a few areas of Jamaica but islandwide," King said.

According to Parkinson, "$50 a day for access is dirt cheap. You could never get a rate like that in the US."

The Digicel DL600 is on par and sometimes outperforms far more expensive handsets with its Android 4.1 operating system, GPS functionality, touchscreen interface and its sharp 3.2 megapixel camera. The DL 700 takes everything the DL 600 does to a higher level with its Android 4.2 operating system, a larger screen, and four times as much memory.

richard.browne@gleanerjm.com

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