Gadgets and Filipino students

gadget freakHere’s an interesting article from the BBC website: Students ‘own hi-tech gadgets’

It partly reads;

Students increasingly own an expensive range of personal items such as MP3 players, iPods, laptops and widescreen televisions, a survey suggests.

A study for Direct Line home insurance shows the average value of students’ goods rose 50% over the past 10 years.

In 1996, students had possessions worth £1,900, compared with £2,900 now, the poll of 587 students indicated.

Well, that’s in the United Kingdom, where gadgets are more affordable per capita and that people-students in particular can afford such gadgets and tools that would otherwise seem extravagant and flamboyant to the cash-strapped individual. This is clearly evident and experienced here in the Philippines where the craze for the latest gadgets like mobile phones, digi-cams, mp3 players, game consoles, PCs, etc are dampened and stopped dead cold by one great factor: the contents of the average Pinoy’s wallet.

gadgetsStill, despite the harsh economic realities, you’d still find a great number of young Filipinos, students especially, running around with the latest gadget technology can offer. The most visible representation would be the mobile phone; Nokia, SonyEricsson, Motorolla are just among the top brands whose latest models graze the hands, necks, bags and belt pouches of today’s students and young professionals. Add to this, the mp3 players from Creative, Sony and the much coveted iPod accompanying the newest models of mobile phones owned by the Filipino students today, one could easily assume that things are not so bad here in the Philippines. Or the Philippines is truly modernizing into the future or something else similar.

Nah! I’m just day-dreaming again. Or maybe it’s because I’m studying in a university that belongs to the so-called “Ivy League” schools that I was able to make such assumptions.

If only there is a similar or Philippine version of the UK study then questions would be answered and assumptions corrected (if they are wrong of course) about the state of Filipino students and their relationship to the gadgets like. Such questions could be: How many Filipino students does own a gadget? How much does it all cost? Are the gadgets cutting-edge and the newest models? and many more.

9 Comments

  1. It's one thing I don't understand. I came from a state U (thiose that are really poosr and not so popular) pero yung gadgets ng iba, manliliit yung phone ko. I mean, they're investing on things that depreciates a lot and are way high for their economic means (then again, there's Greenhills). But I am DYING to have a PDA. hehehe. Even now thast I have work I can't buy the stuff I like (except for books and clothes).

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  2. There is a rather unique dynamic that applies in the marketing to the student population, or the young generation for that matter, in most first world countries, like the UK as mentioned and also the US where I have lived for very long.

    Apart from the affluent enthusiasts, companies typically target the student population or the young generation for their newest and most novel consumer electronics, especially the miniaturized versions, because they know that is where the interest and money are. A huge market of consumers that do not necessarily earn their spending money. Tbeir parents do.

    Thus, launchings usually occur during holiday seasons (gift-giving times) or school openings. Introduced by glossy brochures of new products tailored, say, for the guy/gal going off to college.

    The purchases of the younger generation then are not reflective of the general population. Much the same way that sneakers for the young ones are typically far more expensive than the ones bought by regular adults.

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  3. Filipinos can be very materialistic, specially the youth! They think techie stuff determine their popularity and wealth class. But I must admit, I too am a techie, and I do love cellphones, digital cams and laptops!

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  4. i wasn't able to buy stuff when i started working in pinas. i came here in japan (sagot sa kahirapan?!), have enough money to buy some gadgets, but i'm worried if i can go out in pinas with these gadgets. takot ko lang…

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  5. @ minor: I'm not sure if the laptop will be the number 1 gadget owned by most Filipino students, they're just too damn expensive!
    The Nokia phones will be on top, next would be the mp3 players…i think.

    @ jeeper: Same here, I'd love to own a PDA someday, but for now my goal is to own a digi-cam.

    @ Amadeo: Marketing and consumerism is really hard to beat. In my university, a lot of students own the latest models of mobile phones but most are using the unlimited texting services so popular-essential nowadays. Imagine, a Nokia N90 running on 3-day unlimitxt service. The ironies of life.

    @ Jigs: I'm gadget freak my self, too bad my wallet couldn't allow me to be a full pledged one.

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  6. In the Philippine context, I would say that owning a cell phone would be a necessity, rather than just plain gadgetry. Especially in the provinces, phone services are very limited and unreliable.

    Of course, the texting overkill has clouded this basic need.

    A PDA, like a Blackberry, could still fall under this usage, as a tool to communicate with others and then some, especially under a work environment.

    I built my own PCs because it used to be cheaper that way, and still have, though partially disassembled, a home LAN with over a dozen nodes. Still, I did not find the purchase of a laptop necessary until a few weeks ago when the prices have gone down, way down.

    My point? There are still cheaper ways to avail of new technology – even for the young.

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  7. Right on Amadeo. Here in the Philippines, there are more than hundred ways (illegal, semi-legal and underhanded ways) so to speak to get gadgets, otherwise younger students than me wouldn't be able to own the higher-end model of mobile phones and mp3 players that are known to be expensive.

    I've seen over a dozen of highschool students with mobile phones that are way more expensive than the one I currently use, a Nokia 3530. I couldn't believe they owned a Nokia 6600 so I asked how did she acquired that phone, she whisphered, "Nabili po sa pitik." Meaning the phone she bought was stolen. Tsk tsk, only in the Philippines.

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  8. in the Philippines, the majority of the persons who own a gadget, may it be a cellphone, PDA or laptop buys one or has one just to keep up with friends or the rest of society. just like Amadeo said, cellphones may be used as a cheap way of communication but now with the unlimited texting and other promos, people are using it to forward jokes and other junk stuff. consumers are just lured to spend money on something they don't really need.

    when i was in the Philippines, i was never interested on those promos coz i only texted someone if it was about something important and most of the time i use emails or IM to contact these people so i barely used my cellphone. being a person who loves gadgets or a techie is one thing, and keeping up with the fad or buying gadgets to be "in" or as a status symbol is weak and sorry to say this but stupid. in one of her posts, Connie (Sassy Lawyer), also talked about this and she said that a lot of these persons who have this high-tech gadgets don't even know how to use most of that gadget's functions. funny but true.

    here in the US, people carry cellphones coz they need it, not because it's a status symbol. people are on the go and having a cellphone is more convenient that having a landline phone. but companies do also target the students and make them believe that it's something they need and not want. i am not against technology and gadgets. i believe they are very useful and helpful in everyday life.

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