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Final Countdown to the IMC Conference – Only 10 days to go!

Published by on Oct 4th, 2012, No Comments

In less than 2 weeks, the country’s top media and marketing minds will be making a big impact at this year’s highly-anticipated Integrated Marketing Communication Conference taking place on the 15 & 16 October at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton Johannesburg.

As a marketing professional, its becoming more challenging to retain and acquire customers, all in the while gaining competitive advantage in this ever-changing marketing sphere. The proliferation of channels and available information makes it hard to focus on, understand and keep track of where true opportunities lie, and it is with this understanding that the 4th Annual IMC Conference has been designed.

With an impressive guest speaker and workshop line-up that include some of the biggest names in the business, this 2-day conference is not only guaranteed to cover all aspects of marketing, media and communication, but delegates will have the opportunity to pre-select the workshops they want to attend, as well as ask questions prior to the conference via #IMCQUESTION to ensure they get the most out of their conference experience.

The eight keynotes, with two dual presentations, hosted by top agency leaders include:

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Nokia to sell its HQ and move in as tenant?

Published by on Oct 4th, 2012, 2 Comments

If there were any doubts about how deep the trouble is that Nokia finds itself in, this should clear that right up and it seems their financial woes aren’t going to end any time soon.  According to Reuters, the struggling cellphone maker is considering selling its principal headquarters in Espoo, Finland.

According to a spokesman, the company is looking to divest “non-core parts” of the business, “and that includes the headquarters”. Nokia has lost billions in the last two quarters, $1.7 billion in Q1 2012 and $1.01 billion in Q2 2012, so it makes sense that Nokia will be looking for cash wherever they can find it.

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Local startup TaxTim aims for Africa

Published by on Oct 4th, 2012, No Comments

Local startup TaxTim has been chosen as one of the top 40 startups in Africa to take part in the first DEMO Africa conference.

DEMO is a global launch pad for some of the world’s biggest brands. This year, in partnership with VC4Africa, DEMO will host its first DEMO Africa event in Kenya which aims to connect African startups to each other and the global ecosystem. The most innovative companies from 16 different African countries have been selected and will be able to demonstrate their products to investors, VC’s and other technology minded entrepreneurs.

“We are very excited to be taking part in this year’s DEMO Africa conference. It will enable us to demonstrate our product and service whilst networking with other influential players in the industry. For TaxTim specifically it will mean access to all these resources as well as the opportunity of forming mutually beneficial relationships with other likeminded startups,” says Marc Sevitz, co-founder of TaxTim.

After successfully launching their multi-language offering last month, TaxTim will now be looking to expand their product into other African markets.

“This is a first in Africa and we are very excited and humbled by being selected. We want to show the rest of Africa and the world what South Africa can produce as well as expanding TaxTim beyond SA’s borders,” Evan Robinson, co-founder of TaxTim.

Local startup Gigham has also been chosen to represent SA alongside TaxTim at DEMO Africa. We’ll be featuring Gigham in an upcoming post so watch this space!

Microsoft plans to launch own branded smartphone

Published by on Oct 3rd, 2012, 2 Comments

A recent rumour has been circulating that suggests that Microsoft is working on its very own Windows smartphone. Originally, the rumour that was first reported by the China Times, was not believed as no evidence or source was provided.

Now, WPCentral has confirmed that a Microsoft Windows phone, based on its own hardware, is in fact in the works and even reports that it has already been produced and is undergoing testing. A Surface smartphone perhaps?

While the source(s) of the information are known, they have been kept off the record and have also yet to reveal any information about the phone’s hardware specifications, appearance and possible launch dates.

While other technology sites such as BGR have also confirmed that a Microsoft Windows Phone is coming, others like AllThingsD have reported that there is no indication that Microsoft is planning its own Windows Phone hardware any time soon. This information came from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop who appears to be in the know about Microsoft’s current projects.

Apple Maps Turn by Turn now active in SA

Published by on Oct 3rd, 2012, 8 Comments

When iOS6 finally arrived in September, we were disappointed to find that turn by turn navigation was not switched on for South Africa, despite Apple Maps having full routing capability for SA. Apple subsequently updated their iOS6 features page with a statement saying that turn by turn will arrive for SA in October. Luckily Apple did not make us wait too long – if you use your recent model iPhone (4S or 5) or iPad 3, you will see that turn by turn directions are now up and running.

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Warning for Imported iPhone 5 users on Vodacom (updated)

Published by on Oct 3rd, 2012, 34 Comments

According to a post by Mybroadband, South Africans who have imported the new iPhone 5 from overseas where the phone has become available, have been experiencing problems with getting the phone to actually work in the country, that involve issues such as unsupported frequency bands and carrier specific software settings.

The software in the phones purchased from overseas have carrier specific settings built in which make it difficult, if not impossible, to use on our local networks.

However, the site does offer some pointers that may be helpful to consumers wanting to buy a new iPhone 5 before it’s launched in South Africa, predicted to be sometimes in early October. All the phones support all the GSM frequencies needed in SA, but the A1428 model should be avoided.

  • The A1428 (GSM model) might support South Africa’s frequencies, but it typically locked iPhones meant only for US and Canadian networks, and supports LTE frequencies of 4 and 17. Avoid.
  • The A1429 (CDMA model) does support the frequency bands to be used in SA but is actually intended for the USA market with the intention of also supporting CDMA related frequency bands. It does connect fine to GSM frequencies though, but also to LTE bands of 1, 3, 5,13 and 25. Works with MTN so far, but Vodacom drops 3G signal to this phone after a few minutes.
  • The A1429 (GSM model) is the model actually intended for markets such as SA. It supports our GSM frequencies, but also LTE bands of 1, 3 and 5. Works fine with MTN right now, but Vodacom drops 3G signal after a few minutes.

Did Jobs predict the future? Lost speech from 1983 recovered

Published by on Oct 3rd, 2012, 4 Comments

In 1983, Steve Jobs gave a speech at the International Design Conference in Aspen on the theme of “The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be”. According to writer Marcel Brown, in his blog Life, Liberty and Technology, very little of this speech was available on the internet and after an extensive amount of research he was finally able to find only one recording thereof which had only been posted in June 2012, more than 25 years after it took place.

In addition, the recording itself was incomplete, having left out almost 40 minutes of follow up questions by the audience for Jobs. Brown was able to recover this additional 40 minutes of Q&A from a client who attended the event all those years ago – each attendee was given a cassette of the recording. This “lost” part of the speech reveals fascinating predictions by Jobs of the future of technology and shows just how far ahead of his time he was.

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Former Samsung Strategist joins Infonetics Research

Published by on Oct 3rd, 2012, No Comments

Julien Blin

Former Samsung strategist Julien Blin joins Infonetics as its consumer electronics and mobile broadband analyst.

Joining Infonetics Research, Blin brings with him 10 years of telecom analyst experience with Samsung, IDC, Ovum, and investment bank Wedbush Morgan Securities. He has expertise in smartphones, tablets, e-readers, smart TVs, multiscreen, next-gen UI/UX, over-the-top and set-top boxes, gaming consoles, mobile-to-mobile, and home automation.

“The long search was worth the wait,” says J’Amy Stewart, CEO and co-founder of Infonetics Research. “I have no hesitation in saying that with Julien Blin on board, Infonetics will ultimately be known for mobile device, smartphone, tablet and smart TV research in the same gold-standard way that we’re known in the other markets we cover.”

As Strategy Manager at Samsung, Julien advised the CEO of Samsung Telecommunication America on the company’s Galaxy Tab tablet, Galaxy Smartphone, Smart TV, set-topbox, and content, services, and retail strategy. He also helped conceptualize new designs and services for upcoming Samsung devices to more aggressively compete with Apple and Amazon.

As Directing Analyst, Consumer Electronics and Mobile Broadband, Julien now covers smartphones, tablets, and embedded mobile modems; home automation services; and pay TV, including STBs, OTT boxes, multiscreen services, and cable, IPTV, and satellite subscribers. He authors quarterly market share and forecast reports, annual service provider surveys, and frequent opinion pieces on important communication industry players, technologies, and service provider trends. He provides due diligence and advises on positioning, product development, strategy, partnerships, and business planning to help clients identify new market opportunities, come up with disruptive ideas, and create differentiated products that improve stickiness, sales and market share.

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