The BlackBerry Curve smartphone is a pretty regular sight in the hands of South African users. For many users, the BlackBerry Curve is almost the first logical jump from the average feature phone into the world of smartphones.
Even though RIM (Research In Motion) might have been in a lot of trouble in recent months, I have always had a healthy respect for the BlackBerry Curve. In fact, the 2 year old BlackBerry Curve 8520 was still Bandwidth Blog’s choice for the “cheap and cheerful” gadget category in our favourite stuff of 2011. And the 9300 has always a good deal as well, and a logical jump up from the 8520.
While much of the smartphone world and technology press is focused on the high end smartphone market, BlackBerry has quietly built a huge following in the developing nations with their BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) service. R60 a month is a mighty good deal for anyone who cannot have regular access to the internet.
The new BlackBerry Curve 9360 replaces the older BlackBerry Curve 9300, and aims to still keep its cheap price. But can it convince users to not jump ship to other brands?
Build and Design (more…)
Apple had $97.6 billion in the bank as of the end of its first quarter and that amount has almost certainly crossed the $100 billion mark by now. Apple sold 37 million iPhones in the quarter, more than Wall Street was expecting and the sales of iPads and Macs also beat estimates. Apple also posted twice as much revenue and profit as Microsoft did in its holiday quarter.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook announced that “We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs. Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”
However, Cook did emphasise that the company can do even better. He was quick to point out that Apple had been struggling with shortages all quarter. Tragic floods in Thailand have led to poor availability for components across its devices, the company was not able to make as many iPhone 4Ss as it would have liked and due to the rampage in Mainland China on launch day, was unable to sell any new iPhones.
When asked about Apple’s success during his first four months as CEO, Cook was adamant about praising the work of his colleagues and that he was lucky to be surrounded by them. When asked to elaborate, Cook simply pointed to the company’s monster earnings to make his point. During a conference call with analysts Cook said “I think the team is doing a fantastic job. We feel really good about where we are.”
You are kindly invited to the first Girl Geek Dinner Cape Town event of 2012 taking place this week.
The event will welcome guest speaker Catherine Lückoff:
Catherine Lückhoff is the Head of Brand Strategy for Bozza.mobi, a mobile App which offers artists, filmmakers and entrepreneurs a mobile platform through which to distribute their content. Before Catherine joined Bozza she was the founder and CEO of one of South Africa’s leading communications and PR agencies; Mango-OMC. Catherine just doesn’t see things the way others do. And she brings that ability to shift perspective to her work, where she continually marries tried and tested methods with radical new ideas, which is how she has built Mango-OMC into one of the country’s top PR agencies.
She was also named as one of 38 emerging tech entrepreneurs to watch in the Old Mutual Do Great Things Guide.
When: 26th January 2012
Time: 7pm – 11pm
Where: Cape Royale Hotel, 47 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town
Cost: R165 for a cocktail dinner and goodie bag. (Drinks for your own account).
To RSVP or for more information click here. Places are limited!
Ever since the first five group buying websites in South Africa were founded, a few bright minds had the idea of putting all the deals on one website, and in doing so they gave birth to a second wave of daily deal websites. Actually, the first time I heard of it was in a meeting with Andy Hadfield and Henk Kleynhans, where Henk suddenly came up with it. Although by that time it was already present overseas.
The advantages of starting this type of site gives one the same tingle as social buying sites do – they are so easy to start up and seemingly only result in everyone making massive profits. But, as collective buying websites have proven by failing, this is not necessarily the case, and the returns are harder to realize and smaller than you would think. Dealify closed, Zappon closed, Dealio closed and so have many of the smaller sites that were never really on the map.
And so is the case with aggregators now. The returns are small and one actually requires sending a great deal of affiliate traffic through to get the site earning you some money. Add to this the fact that many group buying websites do not even have affiliate programs (although there are now third party programs like AdMarula) and also that some of them do not pay you, and you have a recipe for failure. Groupon, for example, has been noted by aggregators as being exceedingly difficult to partner with.
Saatchi & Saatchi Atplay are the digital brains of Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa. The team is headed up by Allan Kent (not the guy from Enter the Dragon), and consists of the usual suspects – designers, developers and usability experts. They are no good at pitching a tent but are all over finding their clients an integrated digital solution. The team create digital experiences that engage and evolve. Some of their clients include the UCT Graduate School of Business, Old Mutual, BoE, Sasko Four, Nedgroup Investments, Primedia and P&G just to name a few.
For such work to take place, Atplay have the Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town head office as its working grounds. Located at The Foundry, the office space is a mix of industrial design and creative flair. Long since unused industrial equipment, exposed brick and ventilation shafts compliment animated wall graphics, cardboard cut-out screens and the playful chill-out area for brainstorming or relaxing.
The open-plan office has a number of meetings rooms (The Larry Hagman and The William Shatner Boardrooms and The Olive Room) and a recreational area for staff complete with couches, a coffee and drinks bar, foosball table and pool table. We especially love the ‘Slide to Unlock’ fridge.
BandwidthBlog previously visited Atplay way back in 2008 and so we are excited about giving you a fresh look at the space and its people.
Thanks to the Atplay team for welcoming BandwidthBlog into its space and providing readers with great local office pictures to add to the collection.
View all the photos after the jump…
As from 1 February 2012, users of Uncapped Lite packages will be able to download more, moving from the current (very slow) limit of 128kbps to a slightly faster 256kbps after the 3GB limit is reached. Uncapped Pro package users will also will also get a slight increase, with a maximum speed limit lift from 128kbps to 384kbps after the 10GB limit is reached. MTN Uncapped Lite is currently R289 pm for 24 months, and Uncapped Pro is R899 per month for 24 months.
The current promotion, began on 1 October 2011, and will run until 31 January 2012. It was a response to customer demands for faster and reliable Internet access at an affordable fixed monthly cost. And with a truly uncapped, no restriction limit.
“It was impressive to see the consumption rate – which certainly speaks to the value customers are getting from this R289 p/m promotional package,” said Serame Taukobong, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN South Africa. “The term ‘uncapped’ data has been bandied around in the industry – but this is truly the most competitive unlimited promotion on offer today.”
This promotion’s success has been the impetus for MTN’s decision to revise the Fair Use policy, permanently increasing its maximum speed limits after the limits have been reached.
With all the time spent on the internet, emailing, shopping online, downloading applications or booking a flight it’s always worth knowing that there are risks out there and reminding yourself what to look out for and the steps to take to protect yourself against online scams and identity theft.
We know BandwidthBlog readers are savvy, well- informed and fully aware of the warning signs associated with internet scams, however, we thought we’d help out anyone just starting out online.
So, here are 12 easy to remember tips to avoid being taken by internet scams:
1. Always be aware that today almost anyone can create a website that looks legitimate so before you engage in any communication or give away any personal information, take a few moments to do some research about the company, product or service.
2. Always update your anti-virus software. When a pop-up display indicates that updates are available, do it.
3. Do not respond to offers that demand you act immediately or won’t take “no” for an answer.
4. Never respond to an email claiming to be from the bank with which you have an account. Most banks will never send you an email requesting your information – they already have it. Many banks now send emails or smses warning their customers against ‘phishing scams’. This applies to any other requests for personal or financial information from unknown sources.
Anyone who runs a tech startup will tell you that trying to hire developers is probably just as stressful as raising venture capital. Why? Firstly, South Africa has a short supply of the right kind of developers. Secondly, the right kind of developers cost a fortune and so they work for larger companies who can afford them.
Why is this an issue? Well in order for the local startup scene to flourish we need more than just sufficient venture capital. Startups need access to talent in order to execute. It took me months to find and hire the right people at Aduity and most startups still find that true. This shouldn’t be the case at all.
1. The Right Kind of Developers?
I am not out to insult the intelligence or skill set of any developers. However, for startups the right kind of developers are proficient in one or more open source languages (eg. PHP, Python, Ruby) and can work across the stack.
While we have a decent pool of ASP.net, C# and Java developers, it is cheaper and more efficient for startups to utilise open source technologies (in most cases). Unfortunately, many of these skilled developers don’t adopt open source languages simply because they don’t know any better, are stuck in their ways or earn enough not to care.