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Is MyPhone investing too much on the Rio series?




With the Android One program coming in, is MyPhone still banking too much on the Rio and its spun-off devices to keep itself afloat?

MyPhone-Rio-Fun-Colors

There is no denying that the Rio is MyPhone’s prized possession, and maybe the company’s bread and butter as well. Arguably one of the most popular budget smartphones in the market today, the Rio has been known to be a device of personality and power when it was first launched. The Rio is one of the local smartphones that pushed better internal configurations and offered more character with an assortment of back cover colors at a sub-Php5k price.

The company even tapped celebrities, like Daniel Padilla, and held a lot of nationwide events to promote the product. It proved to be successful on capturing their target market with the budget phones, and the product’s official Facebook group now has an astounding 30,000 members as of this writing.

With the Rio’s success came a lot of sacrifices. Other smartphone lines they offer are hardly visible and are seen to be not as successful. Its Ocean line for example, having both entry-level and mid-range devices, were hardly felt in the market at all. This prompted MyPhone to release more smartphones that bear the Rio moniker to compensate and hope for more sales.

myphone-rio-series

If we look at it, the company released nine more devices with the Rio branding the past year alone: the Rio Lite a few weeks after Rio was released, the Rio Fun last May, then Rio Craze in July, followed by the the Rio LTE in August, then the Rio Junior and its TV-equipped version in October and November and the huge Rio Grande a few weeks later, and the Rio Craze 3G and Junior 3G just this past week. The Rio now is now the company’s largest product line with ten devices to choose from.

Enter Google’s Android One Program this year. The market they have worked hard to attain is also the target of the newly-launched Uno smartphone: first-time smartphone users who are on a budget and those that want an unadulterated, seamless Android experience.

MyPhone came in late with everything in the Android One wars — its direct conversion pricing scheme, the date of nationwide release, and the phone’s internal storage are inferior when we compare it to how Cherry Mobile handled its strategy for the One. To summarize, they were not able to capitalize with the huge Android One buzz during that week, and they have positioned the Uno at a very big disadvantage against the other smartphone offered in the program.

uno-vs-rio

So, is the company investing too much on the Rio? Yes, they are. They’re clearly capitalizing on the original Rio’s profound success, but sometimes a little diversity could’ve been better. It may have one of the strongest local smartphone branding right now, but the reliance on the Rio moniker makes the line lose its brightness and may become a dull standard in the long run.

Doesn’t MyPhone want its budget flagship Rio to be overshadowed by the new Uno? With almost the same specs on paper, the price difference that sets the Rio apart from the new Uno is a mere Php400. One may choose the more expensive phone that provides better internals, or opt for the more affordable device that can withstand the test of time and receive software updates for the next two years. Is the near-identical price range and the delayed announcement meant to discourage the users who want to try Android One and advocate to choose their Php4,999 device instead?

Can MyPhone afford to lose its investment to a newcomer? Maybe. Too much of everything may be harmful, and MyPhone may want to start exploring additional options to cater to their customers.



Get in touch with Carl at @lamielcarl on Twitter or visit his website for more updates!

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22 Responses

  1. Easy E says:

    MP should already release the 2nd gen Rio with higher internals and with still low price.

    • Not a Fanboy says:

      Which then defeats the purpose of developing an Android One phone. Do you see where this is going?

    • Easy E says:

      MyPhone in not only about Android One (just like CM). Kailangan din kumita from other products.

    • Not a Fanboy says:

      True. Google didn’t stop HTC, Samsung, LG, and ASUS from developing their own stuff. But they didn’t stop making money. They used the technology they teamed up with Google to make quality products that give you more bang for the buck. Although, offering better tech for less than the cost of an Android One phone would kill the program before it even started.

    • Zhyphr024 says:

      Its okay nmn to stick with RIO, pero sana magrealese ng Rio Series na Beefy yung specs. Budget phone nlng kasi nilalabas nila sa Rio Series nila ngyn.

      I assumed baka dun din punta nila knowing na may Myphone Uno na. Hindi din nmn okay na maglalabas sila ng another budget phone na matatabunan yung UNO.

  2. lito says:

    hindi naman na iimprove ang os nito, kaya bale wala sa mga customer. yong advantage nga lang ay mura ngunit hindi sapat ang pagkamura ng isang celphone kung ang os naman ay walang ka kwentakwenta, kaya advice sa myphone improve yor os.

    • Not a Fanboy says:

      That’s the opportunity Google is giving MyPhone at the moment. They’re offering users an up-to-date Android experience, with specs optimized for the OS. In return, MyPhone can just pull an ASUS and make an impressive Android experience that gives the customer more bang for their buck.

      There’s a lot of potential with Android One if you just give it a chance.

  3. kris says:

    Poor camera yung sa friend ko ung mp rio agua niya.. pag nag flash lalo dumilim. tpos internal d makargahan ng apps.. sa system storage pupunta ung apps..

  4. NotaSheep says:

    I asked the retailers “What’s the difference between the Myphone Uno than the rest of the phones?” with a smile.

    and they replied “It’s pretty much the same, you should buy this one *points at a RIO* it has more storage and better specs for the same price” and i sigh and told gave them every info they can use to sell the Myphone Uno such as It’s in Google’s standard quality, Free 100mb mobile internet for half a year :P and best of all it has a 2 year software update support, . I REALLY want this project to roll i really do, software is just as important as hardware.

  5. mandirigma says:

    its okay lang naman for them to invest too much especially sa RIO series nila. as long as they can provide software updates, bug fix and better after sales support sa devices nila.

    hindi katulad ng ibang brand na puro mgbenta lang ng device.

    • JK says:

      Pero hindi OK kung sa sobrang pag-asikaso mg MyPhone sa RIO line-up ay napag-iiwawan na sila pagdating sa advancement ng mobile hardware at software. Uno is a nice move, but they screwed up the pricing.

    • Pioneer RIO user says:

      Software update? NONE!
      Bug Fixes? NONE!
      Better After Sales Support? NONE!
      Magbenta at Manloko ng customers? YES!

      bought my RIO on its 2nd day of launch (April 4, 2014), ang 1st batch of RIO aka v0, old version, or S5500 ay never nagkaroon ng KK update, 2 weeks after launch nilabas nila ang Rio v1 then few months after nagrelease naman ng V2. V1 (S5501) and V2 (S5501) got KK update basically because its the same version as MMX Colours, Wiko Rainbow, Explay Fresh, etc.

      RIO v1 and V2 users didnt get the update via OTA, it was leaked in our FB groups. When MP learned about the leak they started offering the KK update through their service centers with a FEE! take note may bayad ang pa-update sa SC na dapat nirelease nila via OTA.

      MP sold us the S5500 which we think is the substandard or maybe the rejected batch of RIO that MP got from TINNO Mobile. Ang dami naming tinanong, walang nasagot ang MP para sa first batch owners. kami ang unang tumangkilik pero kami ang pinabayaan.

    • mandirigma says:

      kaya pag may bagong release na phone hindi agad ako bumibili. ngbabasa muna ako ng reviews and feedback kasi mahirap na. hindi naman kasi madaling kumita ng pera. may rio din ako pero ung v1. last ko na rin tong bibili ng mediatek device.

  6. wat says:

    they should just rename themselves RIO Mobile.

  7. accel says:

    More like helping to fill earth’s wastelands with their shitty products to me.

  8. Rio de Myphone says:

    They should consider changing their company’s name. From Myphone to Rio.

  9. weird-al says:

    Why wouldn’t they invest on Rio? Like the article said, it is one the most popular budget phones last year, so if you look at it in a business point of view, it’s a good move. Maybe they’ll have a 2nd gen with better specs. I don’t think their stupid to release something that’s inferior to the first Rio. Like with Samsung Galaxy, why invest too much on their flagship phone? Because, it’s their FLAGSHIP phone. Why fix the formula if ain’t broken?

    • Carl Lamiel says:

      Good points right there.

      I would love to use a MyPhone device, but not with the RIO branding. Are there any other new choices aside from that and the Uno? None. Like I said, the company just needs to diversify and expand its portfolio so consumers can have options.

      Like I said as well, The brand recall may be good but it will get stale and it might be harmful in the long run. Look where it’s going: Samsung is restructuring their Galaxy portfolio because they’re all over the place. The idea from a business standpoint may be good, but the same fate may happen to a company who relied on one smartphone by creating spinoff devices in an attempt to gain more sales. Quoting you as well, their “stupid[ity] to release something that’s inferior to the first Rio” is the reason that can bring the Uno at a huge disadvantage.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the brand. I really do. I’ve had the A888 for more than a year before I handed it over to a family member. Its 8MP camera is great compared to cameras of other RIO smartphones the company had released.

      And I thought Infinity is the company’s flagship? Is something amiss?

  10. mindy says:

    Why give to much care about MyPhone? Stockholder ang peg?
    Vote with your wallets there are so much more phone sellers there’s Xiaomi, LG, Starmobile, etc.

  11. Drew says:

    They should also provide a Lollipop Upgrade tothe Original RIO, since UNO and RIO are both Mediatek 6582 devices, it is quite absurd if they can’t get Lollipop for Their Bestseller, while the newcomer has it

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