The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has finally ask Cherry Mobile to explain the circumstances why the company has been selling a mobile phone unit, specifically the Flare models, without securing first the required permits.
In her letter dated January 2, 2013 (copy of which is furnished to this blog just yesterday), NTC Deputy Commissioner Delilah Deles, who is also the Officer-in-Charge of the NTC-National Capital Region, ordered Cosmic Technologies, Inc.–owner of the brand Cherry Mobile to explain within 24 hours why the Flare units have been sold in different stores nationwide even the company has yet to secure the Type Acceptance (T.A.) and Importation Permit. NTC’s action was prompted by the inquiry of this blog regarding the sale of the Flare models in the market.
The NTC also found out that T.A. number indicated in one of the sold units of Flare is erroneous and had been issued already to “an earlier Cherry Mobile Model” in 2009. The T.A. no. ESD-GEC-0900033 is reflected in the supposedly NTC-sticker attached to a Flare unit which was sold in Tagbilaran City, Bohol and was bought last December. This blog got hold of the said unit hence a picture of the sticker was sent to NTC for validation.
The Flare is priced cheap by Cherry Mobile but has the specifications comparable to various popular smart phones. Under its hood is a 1GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon processor. Thus, it received favorable reviews and got the support of the consuming public. It was launched in November 17, 2012 in two selected stores in Metro Manila in an event dubbed as “Saturday Flare Day” where people lined up since early in the morning to grab a unit. It was originally sold at P3,999 but it has been overpriced by many stores due to its very limited stock.
The day after the launching, Cherry Mobile failed to flood its retails stores with enough supply of the unit. In fact, the units were not available the next day and not until a week later in selected stores. Thus, it created the interest of the consumers to rush in buying the unit because of its perceived limited stocks. Some stores in other areas are selling the Flare unit as high as P4,999, a thousand more than its suggested retail price.
Engr. Jerry Bunag, Supervisor of the Licensing Unit at the NTC-National Capital Region, has yet to inform this blog on the response of Cherry Mobile about the NTC order. The NTC was surprised of the Flare sale even if Cherry Mobile had mounted a marketing blitz, including advertising, of the Flare model since last quarter of 2012.
CM fans had posted several comments on the original story of the Flare sale in this blog and expressed disbelief of the story. Previous attempts by this blog to contact Cherry Mobile had failed and even its Facebook page administrators had deleted links to this blog’s story posted as comment to its FB page.