Remember when we talked about mobile data, or specifically, paying for data is an insurmountable wall that the masses can’t get over? Well, the Netphone 701 has a patented “Safe Browse” feature – which is a button you can press that stops all net traffic from third-party applications from going out. Smart-branded apps meanwhile, will still go through and grab data from the net, but without consuming a single cent. Initially the apps that will be available will be the Smart’s own social aggregator Social Stream and the Netphone messenger (think a multi-client messenger) but that’s set to grow exponentially in time. Smart also gave us a little demo of a Jollibee app that would allow you to order online and though the app was incomplete during launch, it showed the enormous potential of the device.
Another nice thing about the NetPhone is that it’s basically a cloud smartphone – all your contacts, media, apps, and SMS are backed up in a central server somewhere, and if you lose it and get a new one, you can just grab your data from the server and you’re back online.
So the big question is how does Smart make money out of this? Well, aside from the obvious (postpaid plans and prepaid use) we think that a big chunk of their profit will come from devs and app creators – think about it. Being put in the whitelist of apps that’s able to access the internet is huge, as you can bet a large part of the Netphone install base would keep that Safe Browse feature on most of the time.
And Smart’s plan for SmartNet doesn’t stop with the Netphone 701. Smart execs hinted that we would see SmartNet being available on the Android market “soon”, with a version of the app for other OSes in the works (including one for the PC).
The Netphone 701 will be available for Php 9,990 for prepaid users. For postpaid users, they’ll be able to pick up the device for free at plan 1200. To know more about the device and other postpaid plans, you can go to www.smart.com.ph/netphone.