Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced revenues of 56.06 trillion Korean won (R457.61 billion) on a consolidated basis for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012, a 7-percent increase quarter-on-quarter. Consolidated operating profit for the quarter hit 8.84 trillion won (R72.16 billion), representing a 10-percent increase on-quarter, while consolidated net profit for the same quarter was 7.04 trillion won (R57,46 billion). The full-year 2012 operating profit was 29.
In its earnings guidance disclosed on January 8, Samsung estimated fourth quarter consolidated revenues would reach approximately 56 trillion (R456,10 billion) won with consolidated operating profit of approximately 8.8 trillion won (R71,67 billion). Highlighting the quarterly performance, Mobile Communications generated quarterly revenues of 27.23 trillion won (R189,21 billion), a 4-percent increase compared with the previous quarter. The growth was mainly driven by solid sales of Samsung’s GALAXY S III and GALAXY Note ll. All told, operating profit for IT & Mobile Communications, which encompasses four business units including Mobile Communications, was 5.44 trillion won (R44,31 billion) on revenues of 31.32 trillion won (R 255,09 billion).
“Despite uncertainties in Europe and concerns over the U.S. fiscal cliff creating a difficult business environment, we did our best this quarter to achieve strong earnings based on a strategic focus on differentiated and high value-added products as well as our technological competitiveness,” said Robert Yi, Senior Vice President and Head of Investor Relations. “Heading into this year, we are expecting a slow recovery in the component business due to reduced capital expenditures, while competition in the set business will intensify further as demand slows and the mid- to low-end market expands,” he added. Mr. Yi also expressed caution over the continued strength of the Korean won in 2013. (more…)
There are many apps on the different platforms that are downloaded in their millions. Once an app gets a foothold it can and most probably will spread like wildfire. The trouble is, though, that the momentum stops relatively quickly and the market gets saturated after the initial demand was met. For example, when Instagram was launched on Android after becoming popular on iOS, it immediately shot to the top of the Most Downloaded list, downloaded millions of times in a couple of days. But ever since then, downloads have been trickling in at a snail’s pace.
WhatsApp is an exception. Ever since launching in 2009, it has had a constant stream of downloads. It is rarely seen on any platform available today for an app to stay relevant for so long. More impressively, it is an app that people use more regularly than almost anything else. On January 2nd 2013, WhatsApp tweeted that it had reached another milestone: 7 billion messages sent in a single day!
What makes this even more astonishing is that only about 5 months ago in August 2012, they reached 4 billion messages a day. That’s a 75% increase in a matter of months. Why has their momentum not only endured, but sped up over the last 3 years? WhatsApp is available across ALL the major platforms and can communicate between all of them. You will find it on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian, and it will be released on new mobile platforms to follow in 2013 as well. Yes, BBM is essentially the same kind of app, but you can only communicate with BlackBerry users.
Having a reliable cross-platform messaging app with no ads is certainly working. Yes, it’s not entirely free. Depending on your geographic location around the world, you will either pay $0.99 per year for it or download it for free and pay $0.99 after a year’s use and then the same yearly rate. But that is a small price to pay for the ability to communicate with anyone on any device, and for no cost whatsoever (except the data of course).
Is there another messaging app you would suggest? If you aren’t using WhatsApp, what is the reason? Let us know in the comments below.
“Convergence” is one of those buzzwords we have all heard numerous times over the past 15 years, but it is now a reality in many segments of the technology market. The lines between once-disparate services such as voice and data have blurred, while the boundaries between traditional IT and telecommunications are disappearing.
Now, telecommunications users increasingly expect seamless access to a range of data and applications using any number of devices – notebooks, tablets, desktops, smartphones – using whatever access technology is most accessible and affordable – be it Wi-Fi-, 3G, or ADSL – at a specific place or time. But the convergence revolution is just beginning.
Here are a few converged applications and technologies we can expect to become important in the next year or two:
3G to Wi-Fi offloading
The move towards fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) - which is about having access to a set of consistent services through fixed or mobile access to fixed or mobile, public or private networks – is well underway. Wi-Fi offloading will be one of its next manifestations.
We can expect to see hand-off of 3G traffic to Wi-Fi campus area networks becoming a reality in South Africa as users look for ways to save money on their data bills and operators look to optimise traffic on their cellular networks. With congestion on 3G networks in urban centres growing as data prices fall, many users are having a poor user experience with cellular connectivity.
Cnectd, a cross-platform messaging application, provides real-time messaging with push notifications so that you can keep in touch with your family, friends and colleagues without paying the costs of SMS messaging.
“The new version includes some significant enhancements,” comments Greg Bernard, Partner at MCI, “for instance, it allows messaging in real-time on a one-on-one basis or in groups. The new version also took cognizance of feedback that we received from users of the initial product.”
When development first began in 2009, MCI realised that the way people communicated on their phones was changing and that there was a shift toward a more rich offering than SMS messaging provided. Cnectd gives people that enhanced communication experience through media sharing and the ability to chat to multiple people at once.
This is how it works: In order to use Cnectd, you need to purchase an annual license, a simple process from within the application via an in-app purchase. Each license purchased gives you an additional two licenses that you can then share with a total cost of $2.99. “The minimal charge for the license is to ensure that the application maintains a level of consistency and reliability,” says Bernard.
Cheap computing power, paired with ubiquitous connectivity in nearly every corner of the world, is creating a global, intelligent fabric of network services and applications that will transform the way we live over the next three to five years.
That’s according to Stafford Masie, technology entrepreneur and Co-Founder of a content and cloud enabling company with SEACOM. He says that the Internet is rapidly evolving into a Sensory Membrane of Ubiquitous Real-time Federated Subsystems (Smurfs) that delivers rich services and applications that were the stuff of science-fiction just a decade ago.
“A range of technologies are maturing and meshing together into a rich network that already has immense capabilities. Just think about doing a Google search on your phone. The device does none of the processing, yet you have access to a wealth of information within a few seconds of starting the search,” says Masie.
Within the next 18 to 36 months, we can expect to see a range of machine to machine applications as well the growth of big data completely change users’ expectations of what the global network can do for them.
So what exactly is this “Smurf” village he is talking about?
Coca-Cola recently revealed at ad:tech that it is piloting a program with Google Wallet where consumers can use their mobile device to pay for a drink at 200 of its vending machines across the United States. The trial is aimed at consumers who don’t have cash on them but want to buy a coke. Inevitably, they will however have a mobile device with them at all times which can be used as an alternative form of payment.
Wendy Clark, senior vice president of integrated marketing communications and capabilities at The Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta said that “The combination of mobile commerce and location technology moves our business from the point of sale to the point of thirst. If we know where you are and that you are thirsty we can move you to the nearest outlet to quench that thirst.”
This experiment was motivated by the changing landscape of consumer engagement and the importance of interacting with connected consumers in order to spread content and create value.
In addition to Coca-Cola’s mobile efforts in the United States, the company has been increasing its presence internationally as well, with a voice transformer app that Coca-Cola’s Fanta rolled out in Europe that lets users play pranks on their friends. The conversation could then be posted on Facebook and reflected Fanta’s fun and playful image.
Coca-Cola also rolled out Chok, a mobile phone application, in Hong Kong the objective of which was to encourage users to collect bottle caps from the Coca-Cola TV commercial they were watching. Users would download the Chok app and when they saw a bottle cap fly out of the television screen at them during the commercial, they could ‘catch it’ with their mobile phone and shake it to win various prizes and rewards.
The app hit No. 1 in the charts after the launch.
“If we do our job well and we give our fans share-worthy content, then they become the salesforce,” says Wendy Clark.
In order to enhance the MXit user experience in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, the largest mobile social platform in Africa has made the move of teaming up with Opera Software in a partnership agreement last week Tuesday. The aim of the deal is to offer Opera users in African countries one-click access to MXit services with MXit users being introduced to the Opera Mini browser through the popular chat client.
Christen Krogh, Chief development officer at Opera explains that the Opera Mini will appear under the MXit applications menu and MXit will appear on the Opera Mini browser’s start page. Both will be accessible via almost any data-capable handset.
The Opera Mini browser offers compression technology which allows for a fast Web experience at a lower price by compressing the size of pages before they are sent out to the consumer while still retaining functionality.
MXit’s CEO Alan Knott Craig says that “MXit empowers African people by helping them build community and make money via their mobile phones. We believe the alliance with Opera will bring us a step closer to fulfilling that vision.”
MXit, bought by World of Avatar back in September, has a global registered user base of 44 million, with the majority of these users residing in Africa.
Vodacom today announced a promotion which will see data costs for Prepaid and Top Up customers reduced by 87%. This promotion introduces Vodacom’s lowest per megabyte Prepaid mobile data price of 2.4c.
This data promotion launches on 7 November 2011 and will continue until 9 January 2012.
The price reduction will apply to Broadband Advanced MyGig 20 Prepaid and Top Up once-off data bundles, now priced at R499. The normal retail price of the My Gig 20 Advanced bundle is R3620. The new promotional price gives a saving of R3121.
Chris Ross, Managing Executive: Commercial Development at Vodacom says, “Offering increased value to our customers is our top priority, which is why we’re excited to offer this significant data price reduction to our Prepaid and Top Up customers. With this promotion, we are providing our customers great value for the festive season.”
All Broadband Advanced MyGig 20 Prepaid and Top Up once-off promotional bundles purchased will be valid until the last day of the next month; thus if a bundle is purchased in November 2011, the bundle will be valid until 31 December 2011 and if the bundle is purchased in December 2011, the bundle will be valid until 31 January 2012. Bundles purchased in January 2012 will be valid until 29 February 2012.
Customers interested in purchasing unlimited Broadband Advanced MyGig 20 promotional bundles can do so through the following Vodacom Prepaid sales channels: