Sunday February 10, 2013
MCMC confident of hitting smartphone target
By PATRICK LEE
PETALING JAYA: More than 460,000 young Malaysians have signed up for the RM200 youth smartphone rebate since Jan 1, with an average of 12,000 new registrations every day.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said that at this rate, it was confident of hitting the 1.5 million limit by June.
The rebate, announced in Budget 2013, is meant for those aged 21 to 30 and earning less than RM3,000 a month. It is offered on a first-come-first-served basis for up to 1.5 million people. The offer ends on Dec 31 or earlier if the target is met before the deadline.
“The way we're going now, it will take four to six months (from January) to reach 1.5 million registrations,” said MCMC head of strategic communications Sheikh Ahmad Raffie Abd Rahman.
However, he added, only 65,000 users had so far redeemed their rebates from over 4,600 authorised mobile phone dealers across the country.
Sheikh Ahmad said the small number might have been because there were no dealers in some areas and the relatively fewer assortment of smartphone models earlier.
As a result, he said, MCMC was extending the period for redeeming the rebate from one month to three months.
“Now that it has been extended, smartphone users will have a wider choice of models and a longer time to decide what they want,” Shaik Ahmad said, adding that the redemptions now were mainly in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang.
He estimated that one-third of all registrations were students, while the rest were working youths. There were reportedly 35.3 million mobile phone subscriptions in 2011.
An MCMC handphone user survey for that year showed that 20.7% of mobile phone users were in Selangor, followed by Johor (11.7%) and Kuala Lumpur (11% ).
The survey also showed that 46.4% of users were aged 29 and below.