Samsung sales figures for Africa shows strong appetite for top-of-the-range phones

by Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee) Thursday night will see one of the biggest product launches in the history of the technology. Samsung’s new flagship phone, expected to be called the Samsung Galaxy S4, has already been declared the new all-things-to-all-people smartphone, further dethroning the faltering Apple iPhone 5 even before the S4 is unveiled.

It’s easy to see why so much is expected of it: the current top-of-the-pile, the Galaxy S III, was declared by many (including this column) the 2012 phone of the year. Its successor, due out as much as six months before the next iPhone, will rule the roost by default.

As a result, many will see the phone market as a war between the S4 and the iPhone 5, with the Sony Xperia Z and BlackBerry Z10 scrapping with each other for the number three position, the Nokia Lumia 920 fighting for the scraps, and the Huawei Ascend P2 as the dark horse.

But that is only the top end of the market, where the flagship phones play. While these phones also represent the highest profits on phones, and shape market perceptions, to take them as the whole would be a massive misreading of the cellphone market.

For one thing, the Galaxy S III remains, for now, the most popular high-end phone in the world, as well as in South Africa. By mid-January, it had sold 40-million units, making it Samsung’s best-selling phone yet. Now, for the first time, sales figures for South Africa and the rest of Africa have been revealed.

Media Future: Watchwords for consumer tech in 2013 will be “thinner” and “bigger”

y Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee) The watchwords for consumer technology in 2013 will be “thinner” and “bigger”. If that sounds like a contradiction, it’s only because the hi-tech industry itself is wrestling with contradictory demands in two key areas of gadgetry: TV sets and cellphones. In particular, the consumer is demanding ever-thinner and lighter devices, while expecting ever-bigger screens.

That is a given when it comes to TV sets, but there has long been an assumption by market commentators that phones would always get smaller.

Apple, for example, clung tenaciously to its 3.5” screen size through the iPhone 3, 4 and 4S, it only relented a little in expanding the iPhone 5 to a 4” screen. It was trounced in the market, however, by Samsung’s Galaxy S3 with its 4.8” screen. At the same time, the first so-called “phablet” (phone/tablet), the Samsung Note, was a surprise success with its oversized 5.3” screen.

One of the big questions that the recent International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas was expected to answer was whether this push for higher screen sizes was a firm trend, or whether small remained cool.

Will HTC slay the market-share monster?

Almost every new major smartphone announcement comes with an element of groundbreaking change. Every groundbreaking change is heralded as the next big thing, until the next next-big-thing arrives the following day. Or until the next big thing turns out to the last big novelty.

South Africans embracing mobile apps

The latest download statistics from the Vodacom App Store reveal much about The South African mobile market and its users, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

BlackBerry brand so powerful in SA, consumers associate it with their right to communications

The BlackBerry brand in South Africa found itself in the midst of two seemingly disastrous public relations crises in the past two weeks. But, says ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK, both events said more about the power of the brand, and the fall-out gave it even more strength.

And your next phone is … (hint: don’t assume its an iPhone)

With the market changing so fast, what smartphone should you get next? It’s an increasingly complex question, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK as he lays out the landscape for your future options.

The ultimate social media strategy is not having one

by Dave Duarte. On Sunday 1st May 2011, Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin-Laden had been killed. The strike against his compound in Pakistan was not televised, but it was tweeted. The thing is, Al-Qaida was already looking irrelevant after the “Arab Spring” – the social-media enabled revolutions that occurred throughout the Middle-East in early 2011.

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist