This is not the first time we’ve seen interesting partnerships between banks and technology companies. Back then, Blizzard released the World of Warcraft VISA card that allows rebates to additional gaming hours. Not a bad deal if you’re really into WoW. But perhaps, for the rest of us, the new offer from Nokia might seem more tempting.
Our mobile phone load purchases and post paid bills are as good as cash in my opinion. Instead of charging your credit card to additional air miles or gas, why not charge it to earn rebates for your prepaid load or post paid bills? So I was really excited (and curious) to see the Nokia VISA card booth at a Standard Chartered fabrication at the Alabang Town Center. If you want to check the full press release, head over here.
The card is not exclusive to Nokia users. Anyone can apply for the credit card, subject to the screening process set forth by Standard Chartered Bank. The co-branding arrangement between Nokia and Standard Chartered VISA will help promote the use of mobile phones by offering cash rebates on both pre-paid and post-paid transactions. Key features of the credit card include:
10% cash rebate on prepaid load transactions
5% cash rebate on postpaid mobile phone bills
0.5% cash rebate on all non-installment purchases charged to the credit card
Wow! That’s pretty significant – even for post paid subscribers. If you spend P30,000 a year on your post-paid plan and charge it to your Nokia card, that’s still a P1,500.00 rebate at the end of the year! Not sure how that would work on prepaid transactions though — does the “Passa Load” system support credit card transactions?
Nonetheless, if you think the rebates are cool enough, the Nokia Best Deals Program allows 0% transactions all year round using the Nokia credit card. This means that you can avail of any Nokia phone under 0% interest all year round! [warning] Although there really is some form of mark up when it comes to 0% interest, it still makes it easy for anyone to buy a Nokia phone if you’re fond of the “tingi” method. [/warning] Pretty cool, huh?
Here is a complete list of Nokia phones that can be bought in 6 months or 12 months with 0% interest.
Here’s a sample breakdown of the promos with the highly coveted Nokia E71 and the spankin’ new Nokia N96:
One-time Charge: P20,974
6−mo. Installment: P3,746/mo
12−mo. Installment: P1,873/mo
One-time Charge: P35,077
6−mo. Installment: P6,264/mo.
12−mo. Installment: P3,132/mo.
Here, I quote the FAQ:
Consumers can purchase a Nokia phone in 3 simple ways:
1. by charging the full amount of the phone to the Nokia Standard Chartered Card, whether as a straight charge or through the 0% interest rate installment plan
2. by using their cash rebates via the Full Redemption option
3. by using their cash rebates for a portion of the purchase price and charging the remaining balance to the credit card via the Fast Track option
Looking at this new product from Nokia makes me realize their strong brand equity. It takes a highly reputable company with a high enough .. pardon the term .. “fanbase” to allow such promos to happen. So next time you think about charging your credit card to earn miles, think about charging it to earn.. load or a phone!
With the launch of their first concept store in SM Mega Mall earlier last month, Toshiba is also wrapping up 2008 with their YEAR END SALE, with up to 60% markdown on brand new units! Note that the sale is not going to be in the concept store, but in the TRICOM warehouse. The address is listed below, but if you’re familiar with the uber delicious Mickey’s Deli, it is right across!
December 4 & 5, 2008
TRICOM – 2F Metro House Bldg.
345 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, MM
Note that the sale is only from 8 AM to 6 PM – tricky for those with a 9 to 5 job!
Here are some photos from the concept store official opening and blessing, along with the iServ logo which you should look out for in case your Toshiba need servicing:
Toshiba’s new milestone – and this is worth mentioning, is that they now have full local support through their dealers and concept store. All you need to do is look for the Toshiba iServ logo in front of stores to know if the dealer is accredited to receive your Toshiba product.
There are such rare occasions when I get invited – not directly, but as a date to beauty events. Such is life, and the last “beauty event” I attended was the new Shu Uemura store launch at The Powerplant Mall in Rockwell. I didn’t care much for the make up and was more busy gallyvanting with Daniel Tan in between his shoots. I’m not too comfortable with the crowd in lifestyle events – not because I dislike the general atmosphere, but because I don’t know too many people. Tech press conferences are very different in tone, pacing and atmosphere from the lifestyle ones.
I did have a take home though – a loot bag from Shu Uemura. I gave all of it to my mom except for this one sampler bottle of Skin Purifier, High Performance Cleansing Oil you see above. Wow. After the Swiper demonstrated to myself and the Beautynomist how it is a very effective make up removal, facial cleansing, and diluting oil, I was urged to try it out for a few days. OK what did I have to lose right? I’ve never really used a “beauty product” out of due diligence, and I wouldn’t usually care less. But yeah, sounding like a girl from off a beauty commercial, “my face feels so much softer and smoother.”
And it’s a powerhouse for make up removal. I was part of this viral campaign for Axe and having had a ton of make up on, I removed it the fastest with this one (note: I’ve been in theater and had to wear stage make up for performances and it was always so hard to remove!).
I did a lot more research on Shu Uemura’s cleansing olls and yeah, apparently they’re really top notch, if you can afford them . The bottles are expensive – at P1,7xx.00 for the small one and P4,xxx.00 for the huge economy sized one.
To the geeks – if you spend a lot of time in front of the computer, this is your saving grace.
Fast forward. Reading this post now after taking a break makes me wonder why I wrote it in the first place. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to share when you make small discoveries which are so off from your niche. Hehe. Please don’t judge me.
Let my flawless face be the judge. Bwahaha! Can’t resist.
Just came from the launch of HTC’s new Touch line of smartphones. The most interesting part of the evening wasn’t part of the official program – we were shown some of the embedded Easter Eggs for the HTC Touch HD. With the 3.8 inch screen, you slightly tap the upper left and right sides of the top weather bar and you get a nifty animation, as seen in this post.
Pardon the low quality, but what happens is that the weather bar shows the sun shining and the weather slowly changes to a storm with droplets on the 3.8 inch screen. A wiper pops out and wipes the raindrops away, all in one really cool and seamless animation sequence.
[Digg It!] You saw it here first!
A few days ago I reviewed the most advanced XpressMusic phone from Nokia, the 5800 XpressMusic phone. Today, we reveal the Finn’s cheapest XpressMusic phone, the 5130 which is due on shelves early next year.
With dedicated music keys, a digital music player, FM radio and a standard 3.5 mm connector for headphones, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is Nokia’s most affordable music phone to date. Equipped with an integrated 2 megapixel camera, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic also supports image sharing through Share on Ovi, as well as the Mail on Ovi email service. The Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2009 with an estimated retail price of 90 EUR. [source]
Due out in early 2009, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic phone comes with a new feature called Mail on Ovi. As S40 phones aren’t as powerful in terms of their software to access Share on Ovi tools, Nokia chopped some of the features and “widgetized” them to fit S40 phones (the more powerful Nseries phones use S60), thus explaining how S40 differentiates from S60 – simpler but less powerful.
Pardon me for the ugly photos. We were in low light and I didn’t have a decent camera to take photos. Then again, the blurry shots give some sort of “OMG you really held one!” aura. Heh.
So Art “no rice” Samaniego (inside joke, folks! ) calls this the “Ugly Betty” of the mobile phone industry. It is by far the most interesting piece of technology since the iPhone because it is the first implementation of Google’s Android OS. So it is indeed curious, and thanks to Art I was able to take a few shots of the G1, which was manufactured by HTC.
More photos and extensive first impressions after the jump.
UPDATE 3: I have a review up of the new Nokia N97 — following the successful touch screen experience of the 5800.
UPDATE 2: More hands on with me playing with the phone. I talk about the touch screen in particular.
UPDATE: From Nikka Abes of Nokia Philippines:
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is selling at a preorder price of P20,000.00. To place a preorder please sign up at the Nokia Philippines website. This goes to the first 58 sign ups.
The price of the 5800 XpressMusic is pegged at about P18,000 without tax so we can estimate this to be at the early P20,000 mark when it comes out officially (nota bene: this is only speculation, btu it gives you a rough estimate how much of your Christmas money to save).
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NOKIA 5800 FIRST IMPRESSIONS
A bit of history: the XpressMusic line is Nokia’s flagship brand for anything and everything music. If the Nseries concentrates on multimedia (video mostly), the E series on corporate use, the XpressMusic line is distinct because it has two things – a separate high quality audio hardware (loud and crisp speakers) and a 3.5mm speaker jack. This is consistent throughout all the Nokia phones branded as XpressMusic.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is Nokia’s first Nseries touch screen device as well. Nokia has had two other semi popular touch screen phones in the past – the Nokia 6708 and the Nokia 7710, released back in 2006. Here is a walk through of the various features. My first impressions were very positive as the touch screen integrates well into the device. Unlike the iPhone which is an SMS composing nightmare, the 5800 slightly vibrates each time you press a button. There are three text input modes available – full QWERTY keyboard, mini QWERTY keyboard and the traditional numerical keypad.
Photos and full feature after the jump.
“I was determined to break the cycle of poverty.”
- Ms. Myrna Padilla, Founder MYND Consulting
As this is an odd hour to blog for me, I leave you with bits of a very beautiful experience when I conducted the first of many workshops for Microsoft Tulay, a technology empowering series of seminars run by the Blas Ople Foundation and OWWA for OFW’s and their families. Last week, I conducted a “training the trainers” series for 17 instructors from different regions of the Philippines.
Although I’d rather write about my experience at another time, I leave you with an inspirational message from Ms. Myrna Padilla who was brought up pounding rice and diving for seaweed. Today she owns a global outsourcing software company called Mynd Consulting based in Davao that specializes in web development, usability, Web 2.0 solutions and many more. Her latest product is a Facebook application called OFW Watch, a news aggregator fine tuned for OFW’s.
Her inspirational opening remarks after the break.
Not all phones are created equal, especially when it comes to finding device drivers for the Macintosh. If you’re running a Sony Ericsson or Nokia phone you may have an easier time finding licensed plugins to sync your phone with Apple’s iSync app.
If you’re on a Nokia, all you need to do is head on over to their corporate website and download the appropriate device driver that unpacks to iSync depending on your phone’s brand. It’s really easy to install. If the phone isn’t listed, you will need to wait a few days. Nokia always releases a new update whenever a new phone is released.
However if you own other brands and want to use a third party sync tool, you can check out Mactomster. This iSync plugin also supports a number of S40 phones from Nokia. Here is a list of devices they support, taken from their site:
Nokia iSync-PlugIns for 10.4 Tiger & 10.5 Leopard
* N-Series: N75, N76, N77, N78, N81, N81 8GB, N82, N92, N93i, N95, N95 8GB, N96
* E-Series: E50, E51, E60, E61i, E65, E66, E70, E71, E90
* Series40: 2600 Classic, 2630, 2760, 3109 Classic, 3110 Classic, 3120 Classic, 3500 Classic, 5000, 5200, 5220 XpressMusic, 5300, 5310 XpressMusic, 5610 XpressMusic, 6085, 6125, 6151, 6233, 6234, 6263, 6288, 6300, 6300i, 6301, 6500 Classic, 6500 Slide, 6555, 6555d, 7280, 7373, 7390, 7500 Prism, 7710, 7900 Prism, 8600 Luna, 8800 Arte, 8800 Sapphire Arte
* Series60: 3250, 5320 XpressMusic, 5500, 5700, 6110 Navigator, 6120 classic, 6220 Classic, 6290
* Series80: 9300, 9500 Communicator
SonyEricsson iSync-PlugIns for 10.4 Tiger & 10.5 Leopard
* C-Series: C702, C902, C905
* F-Series: F305
* G-Series: G502
* K-Series: K320i, K330i, K510i, K530i, K550i, K630i, K660i, K770i, K810i, K850i
* P-Series: P1i
* S-Series: S302i, S500i
* T-Series: T650
* V-Series: V630i, V640i
* W-Series: W310i, W350i, W380i, W580i, W610i, W660i, W700i, W710i, W880i, W890i, W910i, W960i (!), W980i
* Z-Series: Z310i, Z550i, Z555i, Z710i, Z770i, Z780i
Samsung iSync-PlugIns 10.5 Leopard
* D-Serie: SGH-D520, SGH-D520, SGH-D800, SGH-D820, SGH-D830, SGH-D840, SGH-D880, SGH-D900i
* E-Serie: SGH-250, SGH-E390, SGH-E530, SGH-E620, SGH-E720, SGH-E730, SGH-E770, SGH-E900
* F-Serie: SGH-F300, SGH-F480, SGH-F490 (V)
* G-Serie: SGH-G800
* i-Serie: SGH-i520, SGH-i550, SGH-i560
* P-Serie: SGH-P300, SGH-P310
* U-Serie: SGH-U700, SGH-U900
* X-Serie: SGH-X700, SGH-X800 Serene, SGH-X828, SGH-X830
* Z-Serie: SGH-Z150, SGH-Z370, SGH-Z630
Obama inspired Hope to America, and a litttle bit of that Hope is rubbing off Microsoft’s new Windows 7. It’s no secret that PDC copies are already out for developers. Rafael Rivera and Ed Bott discussed about the new “super taskbar” that highlights Windows 7′s new GUI.
From what I’ve been hearing, the new Superbar draws a lot of inspiration from the Mac OS X dashboard launcher with a little bit of the Google Chrome shortcut icon feature. The new Taskbar isn’t just a launcher but serves the purpose of adding and remembering sub windows within applications. In other words, what used to take five clicks to get to now only takes two.
I’m excited for Windows 7. Id like to believe it’s a second wind for Microsoft.
[image credit taken from Ed's ZDNet blog]
So I recently got myself a SUN prepaid kit. I had to. Let’s just say that a number of factors led to me finally spending P70.00 for a new SIM by recommendation of Kenna — figures she works for SUN — I had to get one for my blog to make it easier for people to contact me, whom I didn’t know personally.
two three motivators were a series of seminars to be conducted for a non-profit group this coming Friday, a small social experiment with Jonas Diego, Fritz, Marcelle, Jeff and a few more bloggers for Axe (yes! the deodorant!). It’s a viral campaign they’re doing and I’m pretty hyped about it – the schedule is fit for a rockstar: invading three bars from 9 PM to 4 AM on Friday. I hope I can keep up with THE Fritz. And yeah, I opted to get a second SIM for this purpose, more for security reasons. Hyuk! My number is here.
Oh and yeah, the last motivator is really to find a SIM for my spare review phones. For the past couple of months I’ve been using my uMobile SIM for spare units. I mean why not, right? It’s the proper way to review telecommunications products without the hassle of swapping my SMART SIM (I’m on a BlackBerry consumer plan but the BlackBerry Pearl is still somewhere in Canada for repairs).
Confession time: I lost my uMobile SIM. Yep. Misplaced. Got blown away by the wind. Got sucked by the vacuum cleaner. Oh well. So I’m on SUN again (used to have a SUN SIM back in 2006 and boy the service was bad). I think everyone deserves second chances, albeit first impressions were not that happy – there’s no signal in my room. Between Globe, SMART and SUN, the latter has the weakest signal – no signal at all! On the upside it allowed me to do something really geeky and connect my phone via Bluetooth to the desktop and use the desktop SMS function that wirelessly transmits the message to the phone outside the room. Really unnecessary. But geeky though.
I’m reposting the Verzio Envii review I wrote a couple of months ago for MANUAL. Credit goes to MANUAL Magazine, July 2008 Issue. And might I add, it’s silly that I’m running my secondary line on a more advanced phone! Review after the break.