iPhone 5 Plans: Smart vs. Globe Compared

iPhone 5 Plans: Smart vs. Globe Compared

Now that both telcos have published their prepaid and postpaid plans for the upcoming iPhone 5, we’ve come up with a more detailed breakdown to see which of the two offers the better deal.

We start off with the prepaid kit prices of the iPhone 5 with Globe and Smart. These handsets will be locked to their respective networks.

The most affordable price for the 16GB model is from Smart, which is Php33,600 compared to the Php35,400 from Globe. That’s a price difference of Php1,800 in favor of Smart.

We then look at the postpaid plans of the two carriers and compared the ones that offers a free iPhone 5 right off the bat (this is under the assumption that you want to get the unit free and is looking for the best/optimal monthly plan).

There are some qualifications we need to explain first between the plan offerings:

  • Smart’s Data Plan 3000 indicates that the free minutes and SMS are “All-Net” which means it includes other networks.
  • Smart’s iPhone Plan 2499 did not indicate that the free minutes and SMS are “All-Net”, unlike the Data Plan 3000, so we are to assume this is not free on when sending to other networks.
  • Globe does not offer free minutes or SMS under Plan 2499. However, there’s a consumable amount of Php1,500 which you can use to make calls or send SMS.
  • Under UnliSurf Plan 2499, Globe offers up to 5 free add-ons to the plan — unli calls & text to 1 Globe/TM number (up to 5), 10 min calls & 200 SMS to any Globe/TM number (up to 5x), and 5 min calls and 25 SMS to other networks (up to 5x).
  • Smart’s iPhone Plan 2499 has “unli internet” but is subject to 1GB cap (as indicated in their iPhone Postpaid Plan page and the previous iPhone 4S packages). This is the difference between the Data Plan 3000 which has true unlimited data but has higher MSF. Smart’s Plan 2499 used to be capped at 1GB for the iPhone 4S and uncapped for the Data 3000. They have now changed it to uncapped/unlimited for Plan 2499.
  • The iPhone 5 is not yet supported by the LTE network of Smart and Globe so it’s just HSPA+ for now. Once testing is done, a software update will activate LTE and “might” support it.

Based on the chart above, the Plan 2499 from Globe gives much more flexibility in plan usage and consumption. This is evident with the Php1,500 consumable credits tucked into it.


The free 32GB iPhone 5 from Smart gives you the lowest TCOA (total cost of acquisition) among the 3 plans, followed by the 16GB iPhone 5 from Globe. If you want a better deal for the unit and don’t really care much about the plan, then Smart’s got you with Plan 2499.

If you’re a heavy data user and want more storage, then the Unli Data Plan 3000 from Smart gives you the 32GB iPhone 5 for free. This puts the Data Plan 3000 into a very odd position of being more expensive but has less free SMS than the Plan 2499.

So this is basically a toss up between Globe’s Plan 2499 with 16GB iPhone 5 that comes with Php1,500 consumable credits or the 32GB iPhone 5 from Smart but with no consumable credits except for free minutes and SMS.

Depending on your usage behavior and priority, all three postpaid plans from Smart and Globe are very compelling offers. It’s really up to you which one fits your needs and lifestyle.

Complete plan and pricing for Smart iPhone 5 here.

Complete plan and pricing for Globe iPhone 5 here.

You can read our review of the iPhone 5 here.

Our recommendation for Globe iPhone 5 and Smart iPhone 5 is here.

Updated: Confirmed with a Smart rep that the Plan 2499 is now unlimited from last year’s 1GB cap. This means Plan 3000 is way more expensive but has less free SMS compared to Plan 2499. I think the adjustment was done to directly compete with Globe’s Unlisurf 2499 which created the plan discrepancy with Unli Data 3000.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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72 Responses

  1. xholywater says:

    Woah! Wait a minute.. No LTE features on both networks? Isn’t that part of the come-on of upgrading to an iPhone5? I do hope someone from SMART or GLOBE would clarify this. Is it a temporary network thing and will be later made available?

    • gadgetmonkey says:

      less than 1% will ever notice this. the rest of the 99% will purchase the phone purely for “pa-porma”.

  2. ishi says:

    that is why the iphone5 is cheaper because its not LTE version. got it!

    • Jm says:

      actually that is not the case, iPhone 5 has a limited number of LTE frequencoes that it can operate with. Google it. As far as I can remember Smart and Globe’s LTE is running at 1800 and 2100Mhz (correct me if I’m wrong). LTE chips on iPhone 5 on the other hand is only cable of running at 800 and 950Mhz.. *not sure though* but that explains it.

    • angry_bird says:

      you are both mistaken, the iphone 5 that will be offered by both network has LTE capability and would run(compatible) on their LTE networks

  3. nhk61 says:

    SMART’s 2499 has data cap? but on their site it says UNLI… confusing

  4. jay says:

    Buy a Nokia Lumia or Samsung if you want LTE. IP5’s LTE is limited.

  5. blahblah says:

    Any confirmation if SMART’s iPhone Plans 999 and 2499 has data caps? Their website says “UNLI Data(MB)” and not “Unli Internet”.

  6. sherwin says:

    waaah!! really no LTE? hindi ba lahat ng iphone5 is LTE dapat?

  7. nhk61 says:

    how about SMART’s 999 is that also unlidata?

  8. Edsar says:

    It doesn’t make sense for Smart who offers the 16GB and 32GB free for plan 2499 and 3000. The plan should be 2000 for 16 GB. Bakit mo kukunin ang 16GB if meron 32GB for the same plan pricing.

  9. itachi says:

    This perhaps explain why we’re only supplied with HSPA+ versions:


    …or maybe it adds more questions for us…

  10. ponyong says:

    Take note of globe’s Usage Policy. http://www.globe.com.ph/aup

    Their Unli data has a cap of 800mb per day.

    if you reach 800mb in a day, you will lose your connection and globe will restore it the other day.

    This has been implemented a month ago. Unli = 800mb on globe’s dictionary

    False advertisement by using the word “Unlimited”

    • yuga says:

      Yup, that applies prepaid surfing.

    • nexusboy says:

      for everyone’s info, Globe cuts off 3G connection when you reach 800MB. internet will be restored the day after! i’m a globe tattoo superstick postpaid sub, started experiencing being cut off since last month. it’s no longer unlimited.

    • Galant says:

      That only applies po for Prepaid since me and my friends who are on Globe Postpaid doesn’t feel the cap.
      I am on plan 1799 with a Note 2 and I have been downloading a lot.

    • Mat says:

      I agree with the comment above. I have been using the 1799 plan for a year and a half and I have never been “cut-off” despite being connected 24/7 (I don’t bother with WiFi).

    • pavements says:

      lucky you, im also on postpaid, and mine got cut off when i reached 800mb, and same with ponyong, i also experienced it just last month

    • ponyong says:

      i’m on postpaid.

      Their post-paid super unli surf’s Capping is 800mb per day. I’m a heavy user and i stream HD content on my phone. Kinda hurt when you need your internet badly and they already cut your connection for the day.

      i might check out smart’s postpaid plan for iphone5, because a representative has told yuga that there are no capping

  11. Justin says:

    Meh… big deal. The iPhone5 is only idiots who don’t know that there are tons of other more powerful and full-featured smartphones out there with a cheaper price tag.

    • viral says:

      Or for those who don’t need the extensive customization or all the extra bells and whistles that Android offers. Like moms and older people who want to be on a smartphone but don’t have the time and/or interest to dig deeply to learn their phones by heart. Seriously, iOS is simply the best for those who just want ease of use.

      And I know first hand how it is. It’s been a year now since I switched to Android from iOS and I love how I can easily stream my videos on the computer through my phone without proprietary software (DLNA), send texts through the phone on my computer (MightyText), wirelessly edit my phone’s contacts, files and what not (AirDroid), customize my phone however I want, etc. But my mom doesn’t need all of those; she needs a phone with a SIMPLE, straightforward interface, that’s why she has an iPhone.

      Not to mention, she’s already locked into the ecosystem with all the apps she has paid for. If she switches to Android, although there are lots of free apps, she’d still have to buy some even though she already has them on iOS.

      So just because other people have different needs and preferences than you do, it doesn’t mean that they are idiots.

  12. pransis says:

    SMART’s unli data plan has a cap of 2Gb per month. You’re bandwidth is downgraded once you reach the limit. Not sure about the downgraded bandwidth, I think its around 24kbps. It’s not indicated anywhere on their site, but once you avail of their unli data plan, you’ll be asked to sign a waiver about the bandwidth limit.

    SMART’s iPhone plan 999 has free minutes, texts, and data (http://www1.smart.com.ph/Postpaid/plans/iphone-plans)

  13. ronsterrr says:

    @justin, troll? hehe. you probably are not, but try to limit your opinions to objective things, calling people “idiots” makes your point less convincing. but i definitely agree with you that for that price, you can already get a much much more powerful phone at probably half the price of the ip5. btw, i’m writing this on an iphone 4s =)

    @ponyong, i think what you really meant was Unli = 800mb per day in globe’s dictionary. you left off the “per day” part. i’m pretty sure there’s a provision like that in smart’s usage policy too, after all doesn’t smart have a worse history of labelling a 1gb plan as “unlimited”? like what they did last year?

    pareho lang naman sila sa tingin ko. equally guilty.

  14. chinitoguy says:

    Its ok if the iPhone 5 doesn’t have LTE. It will be really power hungry. Besides HSPA+ on Globe now records 3Mbps in Metro Manila so its ok.

    Globe’s iPhone 5 plans as always is better than Smart. I’m hoping Globe could offer low cash out for those who will apply for Plan 1799. I got my Samsung Galaxy S3 last October for Globe’s UNLISURF COMBO 1799 with 800 consumable calls and texts and 999 unlisurf. Cash out was 4,600 I think.

    Personally, why buy an iPhone if there are so many greater phones? Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and the upcoming Nokia Lumia 920 are far better handset than the iPhone 5.

  15. If concerned about your data signal, don’t opt for Globe.

  16. lianixx says:

    ALL iPhone 5 units HAVE LTE.

    If it is confirmed that the iPhone 5 units for here are A1429 models and the LTE bands here are supported, then the iPhone 5 here SUPPORTS LTE. It’s just that Apple needs to test the LTE networks of the carriers before they can start turning on LTE for the iPhone 5.


  17. razorous says:

    Hi guys! Do you guys have an idea if the ones sold from famous online ph stores (kimstore, dbgadgets, widget city, etc) are LTE versions or not? TIA

    • ads says:

      I know all the iphone5 are LTE capable. The question should be what iph5 LTE variant should we look for in those stores in GH that will work with Globe or Smart. i prefer to buy in those stores because what theyre selling are factory unlock

    • razorous says:

      Thanks ads! Yup factory unlocked is great! Only disadvantage i can see now is warranty for these unlocked iPhones. Them online stores only have 3 days outright replacement for out-of-the-box issues. The 1-year Apple warranty for iPhone goes nowhere here in the PH. :,(

  18. ran says:

    i dont think there is such a thing as iphone 5 without LTE. please double check.

  19. nexusboy says:

    it’s important to note, that on year 2010, average dollar-peso exchange rate was 47. now it’s 41=$1. dapat sana the handset base price is much lower. or baka naman they are just taking advantage of higher profit margin and NOT passing it on to the buyers.

    • viral says:

      Unfortunately, I think that’s exactly what they’re doing. Why bother lowering the price when the masses crave iPhones like mad every year. And there are only two of them competing, not enough to significantly drive the price down. We need more choices.

    • x says:

      No reason to drop prices. Apple users need to have the latest iteration of the iPhone regardless of price and specs.

  20. Ernie says:

    Parang gusto ko na talaga mag switch sa Smart kaso vaka mamaya puro promo lang pala yung sa 2499 kagaya nung unli social nila sa netphone nila. Baka hanggang March 2013 lang pala yung walang capped sa net hahaha

  21. TopherV1 says:

    Man, these prices are just criminal. No matter how good this phones is (which a lot of us know its not the best) simply doesn’t justify the price. Thank goodness for Google, Android and its partners.

    • Mr.Sinister says:

      Good observation. S3 and Nexus4 are far much better than iphone5 (hardware and software). Agree good thing, we got better options with Android.

  22. Ron says:

    Go ahead and weep Fandroids. You simply can’t afford to buy one. We iSheep also have way better things to do than customize our phones all day and feel the need to “stand out” via our phones.

    • x says:

      Hahaha, fandroids would rather spend their money on other things aside from a phone that has half the functionality for twice the price of their droid phones.

      Apple maps.

  23. viral says:

    Now this just a purely idiotic comment

  24. juan says:

    will have to postpone upgrading to ip5 until these networks become capable of supporting LTE. Heck, I am getting an ip5 for LTE – just one of the few reasons that apple has added after i4s. if not, i think my i4s suits me well for the meantime.

    • nexusboy says:

      one could possibly avail the Plan 2499 and only to find out soon when LTE service is available, u need to pay additional 1,000 per month to use it, of course merong cap yan. kawawa tlaga tayo pag duopoly lang.

  25. wtf69 says:

    WHy not wait for the Nokia Lumia 920 with its real innovation coupled with Windows Phone 8. Maiba lang. IOS, Android, good choices, but if you want to get out of the ecosystem what every people has been using and be unique try Windows PHone. :p

    Eitherway, all OS’s are good…Peace

    • nexusboy says:

      i’m a fan of apple, android and just recently, Windows Phone! haha. i’m all set for Lumia 920 which is set to release in the middle of January. next month na yan!

  26. Androidfantards says:

    Bakit andito ang mga android fantards? Chupi! Wag niyong ipagmalaki ang android niyo dito, walang bilang :)
    Sa bangketa niyo sambahin ang mga android devices niyo :)

    Nuff said :)

  27. Tbone says:

    I guess they are still building their LTE network. The last time I heard on the news, they just finished setting up their 3G networks full blast. :)

    It also states in the above website of apple the different countries and providers that supports LTE on their devices.

    • dane says:

      in NCR,

      SMART uses Nokia for LTE
      GLOBE uses Huawei for LTE

      see which is better???

      smart already roll out 350 pilot site for LTE and a thousands more to go this 2013

      Check this out!!!!

  28. free? says:

    seriously, why do these telcos keep calling them “free”??? i don’t get it, they’re not “free”.

    • Ezy says:

      It’s called “marketing strategy”.. also costumers will be paying for the plan subscription not the actual unit so technically its FREE

    • free says:

      yeah, why not just change the word “free” to inclusive or included.

      free = costing nothing.

  29. Jay says:

    People wanting the iPhone 5, or any LTE enabled phone for that matter, for their LTE capabilities do not get the big picture.

    Think of LTE and 3G networks as “pipes” for “water”(INTERNET BANDWIDTH) to flow onto, if Globe and SMART cannot supply a decent flow of “water” to fill these pipes, again in this case INTERNET BANDWIDTH, they are WORTHLESS.

    Globe and Smart cant even provide enough internet bandwidth to their 3G networks(HSPA+), so think about how worthless their LTE networks are to us if they dont improve on this.

    Just saying.

    • Ezy says:

      nice comparison.. Agree!

    • marvin says:

      yup the people who will buy this are the ones who dont understand what lte is. and believe me madami sila…

    • eve says:

      yeah..right! so what device can u suggest for me, that much better than iPhone?

    • .
      Upload/Download speed isn’t the only thing important about LTE. Not everyone loves downloading and watching youtube/porn over the internet and it’s very inefficient specially if you’re in a plan that is capped.

      For me, being a gamer on the go, the most important feature of LTE is its short Latency. Compared to 3.5 & 3.75g that has a ping value at a minimum of 200ms, the LTE has a ping value of below 100ms and i even get 17ms ping value since im somewhere near smart tower.

      For me, as a gamer, I wont be consuming much from my bandwidth allocation if i tether my LTE to my gaming laptop since it’s just going to carry communications between the game server and the game client in my laptop. I’ll probably just chunk up bandwidth when there’s a client update of sorts. So, for this logic, LTE phone plan 2000 with 2.5 GB cap can certainly sustain me for online gaming on the go and normal surfing/FB needs.

      But such a plan cannot sustain my endeavors of leaving my laptop @ home and playing my games @ at my Ipad from a cloud-hosted virtual machine since the desktop view refresh stream will eat up most of my bandwidth.

  30. marvin says:

    my gf got the 4s last week free @ plan 1800 (globe). kung walang support for LTE what is the additional 12k (@ plan 1800) for? bigger screen? lighter and scratch prone body? not worth it.

    an iphone 5 w/o the LTE is just a 4s w/ bigger screen IMO.

  31. im_eart says:

    WOW! its the same carrying worth:
    1 LED TV 42 inch (Skyworth) 25k
    1 Sofa 7k
    1 Ref 10k
    iPhone 5 32GB

  32. Naomi says:

    Smart says there’s Unlimited data plan for 999 but when I called, they said this is not true. Yet, the website says so: http://www1.smart.com.ph/postpaid/iphone5/register

    I called them and they said they will rectify the error. It’s disappointing tho. They should check their offers before posting.

  33. ponyong says:

    not sure why there are apple fan boys and fandroids arguing on the comments.

    Just let them decide what phone they want to buy, both sides don’t care what phones are you using. they don’t care how much or what ecosystem they have.

    They buy it because they want/need it. no arguments needed, just respect each other. No need to push iphone fan boys to droid phones, or try to pursuade droid users to buy iphones.

    They don’t care what you think, they only care on the phone they want to buy.

    nuff said

  34. Yoyo says:


    Can you check with a SMART rep if their Unli Data Plans with iPhone 5 have unlimited data WITHOUT cap?

  35. Dv says:

    Just to let everybody know about Globe’s Fair Usage policy on internet:
    PREPAID: 800mb cap/day. You get cut-off when you consume that amount of data. It will be restored 12am the next day.
    POSTPAID (Tattoo, including Plan 999): same as Prepaid
    POSTPAID (My Super Plan Unlisurf 999): NO CAP AT ALL. TRULY UNLIMITED.

    FYI. :)

  36. rence says:

    ask ko lng po ano buh ma recomend nyo na plan min 2000 to max of 2500 monthly. then which is better getting the 64gb or ok na ang 32gb? thanks!

  37. kuki says:

    Apparently, with an EastWest CC, I was told at a Globe centre that I can only avail of a 12-month installment plan for the cash-out amount instead of the (fake) advertised 24-month.

  38. dcruz says:

    Ive been to different platforms and i agree that we shouldnt argue about what are needs are. Yet, today i am going back to iphone for the sake of not paying twice for a certain app on ios and android. Coz i paid apple already for few apps in my apple id. Lol. Haha.

    A good combination suggestion would be having Blackberry 10 and an iphone 5 for rich guys. Haha

  39. Mat says:

    I guess Globe clarified things about LTE on their iphone5. :) http://www.globe.com.ph/press-room/lte-on-their-iphone-5

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