|By Roger Strukhoff||
|August 10, 2011 05:49 AM EDT||
The RIM BlackBerry Playbook made a star-studded debut in the Philippines, with local telco Globe Telecom sticking it into the hands of numerous celebrities during a launch event at an upscale hotel in Makati City, Metro Manila.
The launch party carried a "Happy Hour" theme and more than a dozen entertainment stars in a nation that leads the world in per-person use of social networking sites, leads Southeast Asia in its use of mobile devices, and carries no country's water when it comes to worshipping its star performers.
Globe is the Playbook's exclusive distributor in the Philippines. The company is primarily owned by a Singaporean telco and the Ayala family, one of the leading oligarchical families in the Philippines. It has annual revenues in excess of $1 billion (US) and competes like hell with a government-driven telco (which is five times larger) and a third major telco.
Globe is known for its savvy, aggressive marketing campaigns and a wide variety of plans and mobile devices. In a country with an average income of $1,745 (compared to $46,000 in the US), more than 80% of households have a mobile phone, and about 40% are expected to have a smart mobile device within three years.
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