The Superion, the Android tablet-phone with a Qualcomm processor.

Maverick Philippine handset maker Cherry Mobile tonight unveiled the country’s first Android-powered tablet and two other Android phones.

The Superion, priced at P19,990, is powered by Android OS 2.2 (Froyo) and sports the following: Qualcomm MSM 7227 600MHz processor, 512MB ROM/512MB RAM, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, 16GB expandable to 32MB, 3G/HSDPA, GPS/AGPS, WIFI, Bluetooth, standard mini-USB, 3.5 standard audio jack, G-sensor, ambient light sensor and two cameras (3MP main camera with autofocus and a VGA camera in front).

tonyo20091128More and more Filipinos have again gone wireless to connect to the internet. Recently, the three major wireless telcos have pushed down the cost of their wireless broadband modems or dongles to as low as P888 in a common effort to outsell competitors. The competition has gone so fierce that rivals Smart and Globe have come out with ads claiming their respective wireless broadband service is faster. Curiously, both did not include Sun in their ads.

This post and the next one(s) hope to provide an independent take on the wireless broadband services of Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular.

txtpower2Due to some technical problems, the TXTPower website has gone awry today. I’ll be posting here our press release regarding the outcome of today’s hearing held by the House Committee on Ways and Means regarding the text tax.

Consumers score victory as House panel reconsiders vote on text tax

Besieged by opposition from all sides, the House Ways and Means Committee took back its Sept. 8 vote in favor of the still-unnumbered substitute House Bill imposing a five-centavo tax on text messages and all other mobile phone services, national and international.

“This is a victory for consumers. We hope the House will totally stop it and archive it, along with all previous text tax bills since 2001,” said TXTPower president Anthony Ian Cruz.

The advent of the internet, especially blogs, microblogs and social networking, has pumped fresh blood to the mass movement of people seeking social change. The internet has obviously become a new platform for individuals and groups to voice out their views and to launch all sorts of initiatives. This is good anyway you look at it, except, of course, if you’re part of the rotten Establishment.

We are in a better position than, say, our Burmese neighbors thanks to the democratic space we continue to enjoy. That some continue to make full use of this space for civic-minded, pro-change purposes is admirable. We can only hope they stay the course and inspire even more Filipino netizens to make the internet their virtual bullhorns. 

For the past few months, the House committee on oversight quietly studied how revenue agencies could jack up the proceeds from gazillions of pesos in a new tax to be siphoned off from Filipino cellphone users.

In its narrow view, the House panel avers that government is not able to check whether the taxes remitted by telcos were above board and commensurate to their total income and sales. Lest we forget, the government already imposes a 12 percent VAT on calls and text as well as an overseas communications tax on international services. These taxes apply to all subscribers, whether postpaid or prepaid.

For these Members of Congress, the solution to the purported loopholes in VAT and OCT collections is to ask the public to pay between five to 50 centavos in a new tax. Proceeds will go to buying metering machines each worth between $20M to $30M. The metering machines would connect the BIR, NTC and the telcos and would purportedly plug the loopholes.

T-Mobiles G1, the worlds first smartphone powered by Googles Android OS. Photo grabbed from Engadget.
T-Mobile's G1, the world's first smartphone powered by Google's Android OS. Photo grabbed from Engadget.

Update: Visit the official T-Mobile G1 website

US mobile phone network T-Mobile today launched the G1, a smartphone powered by Google’s Android operating system which pundits and techies say may give Apple’s iPhone a stiff fight for hearts and minds of cellphone users everywhere.