If you’re involved in mobile technology or gadgets in any way, you’ll know that the majority of news, reports and statistical information is focussed on the growth of the global smartphone market. Estimates in 2011, indicated that by the end of that year about 472 million smarthphones would be sold globally. This could arguably be due to the launch of the more affordable ZTE and Hauwei devices operated by Google’s Android versus Apple’s iPhone.
However, Mobile research firm Vision Mobile created the graph below to illustrate the size of the feature phone market in comparison to smartphones globally (collectively called the “connected device” market). Results reveal that while smartphones make up 27% of the graph below, the remaining 73% comprises of feature phone devices. That’s a very clear majority so while smartphones may make the headlines, feature phones are the most widely used and should therefore not be precluded by developers and marketers.
Due to the constant improvements in technology and cost efficiencies in manufacturing, the definition of a smarthphone versus a feature phone can change rapidly. It is therefore important to define what we mean by a feature phone, especially in the African market. In this case, a feature phone can be defined as a device that supports WAP(GPRS/Edge) connectivity, has a colour screen, can send an MMS message, has low-resolution camera and lastly supports J2ME native applications.
Research In Motion announced that the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 will be released for download today. BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 delivers an enhanced tablet experience and allows you to use the BlackBerry PlayBook in new ways throughout the day – at work and at play. But is it too little, too late?
“Building on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s proven web browsing, multimedia and multitasking strengths, the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 introduces a range of new communications and productivity enhancements as well as expanded app and content support,” said David J. Smith, SVP Mobile Computing, Research In Motion.
New BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 features include:
In conjunction with the release of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, RIM is making available an initial release of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion that will include support for managing BlackBerry PlayBook tablets and BlackBerry smartphones in an enterprise. The full release of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion (with mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices) is planned for general availability in late March 2012.
Last week, a report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that Google and some other advertising companies were bypassing privacy settings to follow users browsing through Safari on their iPhones and on the Web which has sine lead to three U.S. lawmakers calling the FTC to investigate further. Now Microsoft has claimed that Google is doing the same for its browser, Internet Explorer as well.
All Things D reports that Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Internet Explorer, Dean Hachamovitch, has written in a blog post that Google is using similar methods, though the actual bypass mechanism is different, to get around default privacy protections in Internet Explorer in order to track users with cookies. Microsoft says that by default IE blocks third-party cookies, unless the site presents a “P3P Compact Policy Statement” in which case the the site will use the cookie but ultimately won’t track the users.
Microsoft said it has contacted Google and asked them to commit to Microsoft’s standard privacy settings for browser users. “In the event that Google continues this practice”, states the blog post, Microsoft has offered a Tracking Protection List that Internet Explorer 9 users can add as a protection if they wish.
Google has responded to the above allegations by saying that the software giant has omitted important information in its blog post. The statement reads: “Microsoft uses a ‘self-declaration’ protocol (P3P) dating from 2002 under which Microsoft asks websites to represent their privacy practices in machine-readable form. It is well known — including by Microsoft — that it is impractical to comply with Microsoft’s request while providing modern web functionality. We have been open about our approach, as have many other websites.”
Google also went on to mention that in 2010, a research report from Carnegie Mellon University revealed that more than 11,000 of 33,139 Web sites were not issuing valid P3P policies as requested by Microsoft and the policy is widely considered as optional.
According to a survey conducted on News24 by PayU, 77% of respondents stated that they believed online shopping was the way of the future. A further survey, conducted by online shopping site Kalahari.com, revealed that 31% of shoppers said they chose to shop online for Valentine’s Day and NetFlorist, an online flower and floral shop, experiences an approximate 59% profit increase each February.
Wayne Gosling, joint CEO of online group buying company Groupon SA, says there is a need for online companies to recognise the increase in sales and public interest in romantic deals around Valentine’s Day. “As shown by previous holiday sales, we’ve realised our service is one that people like to utilise especially over romantic holidays to experience things in their city that they wouldn’t normally know about; let alone get to try.”
Groupon SA offered a variety of options to romantically-minded customers, including a night away or a helicopter ride for two, jewellery and spa Groupons. This kind of variety is essential to ensure successful online retailing, Gosling believes. “Online shopping offers creativity at your fingertips,” he says. “Whereas previously one would have to spend hours searching for the right gift for the right situation – now it’s a matter of simply following a few links; it removes all hassle.”
Jewellery retailers have reported selling an increased number of diamond engagement rings: Sterns and American Swiss, both controlled by the Foschini Group, said Valentine week sales swelled by as much as 50% above normal.
Yumna Ebrahim, from economic analysis firm Econometrix, believes that the country’s prosperity over Valentine’s week can be attributed to South Africa’s economic resilience in comparison to retailers in the UK and US following the global recession.
According to Ebrahim, impulse shopping over the festive season, followed by favourable interest rates, could have a sustained positive effect on prosperity and consumer spending in South Africa.
The office pictures below of LEGO’s development department office in Billund, Denmark provides some insight into how the company comes up with its fun, colourful and inventive figures and sets. The creation of Rosan Bosch and Rune Fjord, the open plan space is a grown-up’s playground that focuses on creativity, imagination, and innovation.
On the ground floor, staff are provided with a number of informal meeting spaces where they can exchange ideas and interact with one another. Lounge areas lie between individual workspaces, displays, model-building tables and a library of Lego pieces.
On the first floor, the balcony has been expanded to make room for eight glass-fronted brightly coloured meeting rooms. The two floors are connected by a fun slide that makes it easy to make a fast escape from meetings and head for the various other meeting areas on the ground floor, where occupants land on a bulls-eye in the centre of the office.
The entire office space is filled with brightly coloured furniture, LEGO displays, natural light and glass doors.
Apple is really trying its best to make it as easy as possible for developers to get into the iOS development game – until now their developer resources needed the user to access the developer portal. Now anyone can get an idea of what is involved in iOS development by just accessing “Start Developing iOS Apps Today”, without signing up for anything. Google also recently improved their Android design guidelines that is available online, through their Android Design page, so it is good to see Apple also doing the same.
The guide is particularly great for anyone who has no idea of what goes into developing a mobile app, including the programming languages used, tools that need to be downloaded, and of course the dreaded vetting process by Apple to decide whether your app is up to standard for the iPhone, iPad or iPod.
It’s official. Pinterest has arrived! One may be forgiven for thinking that this is surely not breaking news considering the reports earlier this month on many tech sites that Pinterest had become the fastest standalone website ever to achieve 10 million unique visitors. That kind of news is however only read by geeks and the information shared with the long suffering species, ‘spouse of geek’. This week, Pinterest received a major boost in its endevour to dominate the worldwide time spent on social media, with a David Pogue review in the New York Times. World, meet Pinterest!
Pinterest is in essence a platform for the collating and sharing of pictures. Think of it like scrapbooking without the glue and scissors, Scrapbooking 2.0 perhaps, or iScrapbook. Your account is comprised of multiple ‘pinboards’, which you will ‘pin’ relevant images to e.g. If you come across an image online of a beautiful antique lamp, you may choose to pin it to your ‘future renovations’ pinboard or, a recipe for beef tagine could find its way onto your ‘adventurous recipes’ pinboard. The examples above were carefully chosen to provide the reader with an image of what Pinterest may currently look like. In fact, it may best be described as,
‘Pinterest… where hot fitness models frolic among exotic travel destinations and mouthwatering recipes’.
Representatives from Pinterest are welcome to contact me should they wish to utilize that slogan in future but the point is that Pinterest is presently very female orientated, with women making up more than 80% of it’s members. I am however not implying that, Pinterest does not cater to other interests. Statistics and unique visitor records aside, I cannot recall becoming this addicted to a website before. I find the Humour and Geek pins immensely entertaining and this is where the social networking aspect of Pinterest comes in.
IT News Africa will be hosting Africa’s inaugural Tech Demo Africa Showcase in Johannesburg in April. This event aims to showcase cutting edge technology from established companies and start-ups and will focus on two main sectors: Enterprise technology and eGoverment.
This two day event will feature cuttingedge demos, engaging keynotes, lively panel discussions and noted local and international speakers, along with an amazing technology exhibition area.
The event provides the opportunity to launch and demo your product to an audience of IT leaders, venture capitalists, local and international media as well as potential partners and customers.
This event is aimed at business leaders, service providers, key government dignitaries, VCs and developers.
When: 17 – 18 April 2o12
Where: Radisson Blue Gautrain Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg
Tickets: Visitor’s Pass - $150 includes full 2 day exhibition access as well as seminar, Gala dinner, keynotes and demo presentations access.
For more information about the event and other packages available click here.