Android digs deeper into Pakistan

Published: October 17, 2010
Second phone 
powered by Google’s free operating
system launched

Second phone powered by Google’s free operating system launched

KARACHI: Pakistan’s second Android offering is here. The arrival of the ‘Ideos’ points to the increasing trend of local carriers offering phones running Google’s free operating system, which may lead other providers to soon follow suit.

Chinese tech giant, Huawei – along with China Mobile’s arm in Pakistan, Zong – is bringing the  economical phone to Pakistan, according to a release issued earlier this week.

The Android, a free and open source operating system for mobile phones, has been offering stiff resistance to Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s (Rim) BlackBerry the world over.

Market research firms predict that Android will ‘blow up’ in its competitors’ faces. According to The Nielsen Company, it is now the most popular operating system among people who purchased a smartphone over the past six months, while Rim’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iOS are in a statistical dead heat for second place.

“Android will become the second-largest operating system in 2010 and challenge Nokia’s Symbian for the number one spot by 2014,” claimed technology analysis firm, Gartner, on September 10.

This is remarkable because it reflects how the free operating system, coupled with cheap hardware, is making its way to populous developing countries which have, till very recently, been devoid of the option of purchasing cheaper smartphones.

Officially, the iPhone has still not been introduced in Pakistan and now that the Android is taking off, Google stands to benefit from the first mover advantage.

Most interesting is the fact that phones running Android can be disturbingly cheap. Huawei’s Ideos will cost around Rs16,000 – in stark contrast to iPhones, with a comparable end user experience in terms of the interface, which are available for anywhere between Rs50,000 and Rs99,000.

Huawei says it has worked closely with Google to make the phone which means that upgrades for the device will be quick. The phone is supposed to run the latest version of the Android: 2.2 FroYo.

This version is important because it introduces support for Adobe Flash player plugins which allow native viewing of sites like YouTube on the phone. Flash is not supported by the iPhone and according to industry analysts, this is one of the Android’s main weapons in its war against the iPhone.

Just this Thursday, Google reported that its quarterly profit soared on the back of its thriving internet advertising service and that its display and mobile advertisement businesses are also gaining flight. The Google-backed Android software platform for mobile phones has been a ’phenomenal success’, says the California-based company’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt.

The first android phone to be officially offered in Pakistan by a local mobile carrier was Motorola’s Milestone, more popularly known as the ‘Droid’. The Milestone had been released internationally almost a year earlier but was offered by Mobilink last July for Rs38,000.

Until that time, all Pakistan had to go with from network carriers was the BlackBerry. Now, all this has changed because of Huawei’s Ideos which independent review sites are calling ‘a very good phone given its price’.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Adnan
    Oct 17, 2010 - 3:21AM

    I am using it and really loving every bit of it. Android is the next gen buzz!Recommend

  • Salman Abbas
    Oct 17, 2010 - 9:31AM

    Yea, Android will ‘blow up’…….
    i can’t have iphone of cost around 50k, but i can have android in 20kRecommend

  • Hikmat Khan
    Oct 17, 2010 - 1:43PM

    absolutely android is next gen techRecommend

  • junaid
    Oct 17, 2010 - 3:06PM

    wooooohoooooo…. i havent even bought it, yet i m already impressed by the tech and price.. will derinitely be switching my platform from SYMBIAN to ANDROID!!!Recommend

  • Zonaib Muzaffar
    Oct 17, 2010 - 6:21PM

    Cool. Might think about buying. Think…Recommend

  • Muhammad Umar
    Oct 17, 2010 - 6:23PM

    I am still going to go for one of the more expensive android options.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Oct 17, 2010 - 6:24PM

    i hope the sane people of pakistan dont buy such things and make themselves aware because these things r infact means to control people and put tags on them the world over…specially countries like pakistan…people are not aware of its long term goals and consequences…through mind control and mind manipulation in advertisaements and all forms of media,people are constantly being deviated from the true goals and responsibilities in life….these things and the people behind these things all over the world have one goal..that is to strip the world from religion and faith….people who are wise should research themselves and find the truth like Allah has said in the Holy Quran.Recommend

  • amer sohail
    Oct 17, 2010 - 7:36PM

    There is now need of 3g technology in pakistan as smartphone without fast internet is not so much useful. Recommend

  • Omair zeeshan
    Oct 17, 2010 - 11:01PM


    Really Adnan, google gives people a choice. For some
    people being tagged means better social integration
    And maybe more personalized and relevant search options.Recommend

  • ASQ
    Oct 17, 2010 - 11:28PM

    i agree without 3G smartphone isn’t that much smart!!!!Recommend

  • Adnan
    Oct 18, 2010 - 1:40AM

    I second Amer Sohail’s comments. We now need 3G but the main problem is poor governance. Our government should now focus on developing a proper infrastructure like our neighbor India has. We should look for the future not these crappy GSM and Edge services that are outdated now.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Oct 18, 2010 - 2:55AM

    Best haiRecommend

  • khurram
    Oct 18, 2010 - 9:27AM

    i dont think android will get first place ahead of iphone in user experience but it is so cheap that people in development countries can afford itRecommend

  • ASQ
    Oct 18, 2010 - 9:55AM

    @Adnan what r u trying to say by mentioning india???for ur information 3G license was given around april or may this year and till now no company is giving 3G yet and also its pretty expensive as most indian operators r saying so thanks we don’t need an indian model!!!!Recommend

  • Faiz
    Oct 18, 2010 - 10:23AM

    Back to the topic in my view the pricing promised by huawei was to touch the max barrier of us$150 but this is higher then that means zong is keeping a hefty profit…id rather wait for the prices to come down and let the local market be flooded. The closest competition to this phones feature set in the android lineup is the htc wildfire and that’s nearly double the price so this is a brilliant phone at the price its being offered. In fact anyone can check its features and claim that no other phone in this price offers the same kind of feature set. If not for anything else whoever thought Capacitive Touchscreen in 16k beat that and add hspda, proximity sensor, GPS, accelerometer and above all froyo 2.2 how many phones have ended up with such an update even to this date?Recommend

  • Jibran
    Oct 18, 2010 - 10:31AM

    the article is good but it implicitly implies that the IDEOS handset allows users to enjoy FLASH content, which is not true. The IDEOS has such a lame processor and ram that it does not allow flash content to be played on it.

    the build quality is hopeless and overall the reviews on the internet say this is the first handset by this Chinese company and thus the price is slightly over what it should have been.

    anyways, kudus to Android and I hope we get Samsung Glaxy S series in under Rs.20K!Recommend

  • Jibran
    Oct 18, 2010 - 10:34AM

    BTW the IDEOS does not have multitouch and therefore “pinch to zoom” does not work.. rather users would have to ‘double click’ photos and webpages for it to be zoomed, which is extremely un-sexy for an android handset!Recommend

  • apeman
    Oct 18, 2010 - 12:40PM

    within a decade, Android, OS and (to some extent) Blackberry will remain. all others will go bust. actually, Apple will have to make some drastic changes to its price and tightly-controlled propriety policies if it wants to remain in a lead. otherwise, the OS will also be reduced to a niche system.

    nokia is dead. it just doesn’t know it yet.Recommend

  • Faiz
    Oct 18, 2010 - 12:43PM

    It can run a little bit of flash not all of it vs the iphone (do the math)…one can oc that processor to 700ish and you can get community support to make flash work and thats about it. The build quality complains iv yet to read so show me 10 reviews where atleast 5 say the build quality sux and then we can say yes maybe the build quality is really bad. Plastic doesnt mean it sux, remember its the metal body’s that go bad when they fall try throwing plastic phones on the ground and see if they stop working…take the e63 for example it can be thrown here and there without making it unusable.Recommend

  • Oct 18, 2010 - 1:16PM

    Awesome news. Hopefully Android will see a phenomenal growth in coming times.Recommend

  • Ahsan Dar
    Oct 18, 2010 - 2:07PM

    Nokia Meego ? Anyone ?Recommend

  • Rana Kashif
    Oct 18, 2010 - 2:17PM

    I thought you had been moved away to some better desk…what r u doing writing abt the smartphones?Recommend

  • Faiz
    Oct 18, 2010 - 2:33PM

    Nokia has lost, its dying. Meego is good but the problem is you need a powerful organization to take it to the masses. Its not how good the system is its how well you implement it, nokia hasn’t been the well oiled machine it used to be since 2004 and the situation is only worsening with android’s success. Balcberry’s share has been going down, apple hardly managed to grow while android has been deemed the successor of all things smartphone by 2014.
    To get a critical viewpoint of where the industry is really heading there’s only one source in the market who knows his way around and has the views that change the industry landscape. Eldar Murtazin! Recommend

  • Omair Zeeshan
    Oct 18, 2010 - 2:42PM


    You are correct. It might give the idea that this phone can run flash. But i just wanted to show why/how 2.2 was important. But it was at the end of the article. But that part got cut due to space issues.

    And you are also correct about the pinch to zoom but i believe that information should be in a separate article.

    Plus anyone who read this and thought about buying the phone, would probably have gone and read a review of it and found out anyway.Recommend

  • Oct 18, 2010 - 3:10PM

    and mobile application Development with froyo 2.2 is piece of cake Recommend

  • Usama
    Oct 18, 2010 - 10:15PM

    Yes, unless the iPhone is officially introduced in Pakistan with a carrier subsidy, it will remain too expensive. Maybe what Pakistan needs is a shift towards a contract-based cellphone system. Therefore, until the iPhone gets subsidized by a cellphone carrier, Android would surely make leaps and bounds in the Pakistani smartphone market, based on its price alone.

    Regarding the international position, the iPhone is a huge success and will continue to be so, but certainly not for long. Apple will eventually lose the battle as it did with its Mac OS. Windows dominated and dominates the Mac because anyone can use it without having to buy an expensive slab of aluminum, no matter how good the Mac interface is. Similarly, people will eventually resort to Android or even Microsoft’s new WP7, purely because they would have a lot of choices regarding the hardware whereas Apple would only be having a single offering.

    Clearly, Apple haven’t learned their lessons and thus banish themselves to commanding a niche market in the future!Recommend

  • Muhammad Umar
    Oct 19, 2010 - 4:51AM

    WoW. this is awesome im dumping my iphone 4 for this.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umar
    Oct 19, 2010 - 4:58AM

    @ Muhammad Umar
    First of all, either differentiate ur name or dont post stupidity like this:
    “WoW. this is awesome im dumping my iphone 4 for this.”

    This is utter nonsense, seems like your sucking up to someone. Remember one thing, pricier is always better.Recommend

  • Faiz
    Oct 19, 2010 - 11:26AM

    Well the only good thing about this battle is that Microsoft has made a mess of things with its WP7. Sadly minor things such as copy paste have been ignored, the filesystem is so freaking locked that removing the SD card causes to send the phone into a crippled mode and all this is making Windows look more like a Martial Law government rather then Democracy. When Apple came with the Iphone everyone wanted one, when Google launched android everyone looked forward to it, when WP7 has arrived no one is excited about it.

    Cons of WP7 that matter
    No Multi-tasking.
    No Copy and Paste.
    No file system.
    No USB Drive Mode.
    No 3rd Party UI Replacements/Customization.

    So the battle comes down to android vs. iphone!Recommend

  • Omair Zeeshan
    Oct 19, 2010 - 2:21PM

    @Muhammad Umar

    The HTC Desire HD is more expensive then the Iphone4.

    Android is just the software.
    Android phones can be as expensive or as cheap as their manufacturer wants them to be. Recommend

  • Ahmed Rizvi
    Oct 20, 2010 - 4:12AM

    Well, i just bought a blackberry. I think its great.
    Don’t know what the hype is all about here.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Oct 21, 2010 - 9:24PM


    Sorry if I hurt your feelings mate but the reality is our Pakistani leadership is quite incompetence as compared to its Indian counterpart.Dude keep waiting for good things to come as our President seems to stay for more than a year or so. India is far better than Pakistan in terms of technology and selling their items and Pakistan is no way near India. We should open our minds and eyes and should appreciate what’s good and criticize whats not. Recommend

  • Ahmed Rizvi
    Oct 22, 2010 - 4:25AM

    We are catching up. Slowly but surely, we are catching up.Recommend

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