Online retail giant Amazon is rumoured to be expanding its Kindle tablet range with the launch of three new models in 2012. The rumours that came from Taiwan Economic News reveal that Amazon will debut two new 7-inch devices and an 8.9-inch tablet that will target low, medium and high-end markets respectively.
The three new models are said to offer a variation of resolutions with the low-end 7-inch model featuring a 1024 x 600 resolution, the medium range 7-inch Kindle tablet a 1280×800 resolution and the high-end 8.9-inch device offering a 1920 x 1200 display.
In order to keep production costs low, Amazon is said to have signed agreements with both Taiwanese assemblers Quanta and Han Hai, Prime View and Chimei Innolux for flat-panel displays and Chimei Innolux for its exclusive supply of 7-inch touch sensors.
The Kindle Fire, which launched in September 2011, was assembled by Quanta, which was credited with the design of the tablet.
In December 2011, Amazon announced that it had sold more than 4 million Kindle devices leading up to Christmas, becoming the most popular item sold on its online stores in France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
Not normally known for disclosing its sales statistics, Amazon stated that in December, customers bought “well over” 1 million Kindle devices per week, ensuring that in the U.S the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch and Kindle claimed the top three positions in its sales charts.
Source: The Next Web
Rob Stokes has built one of South Africa’s most successful digital agencies – Quirk. BWB video takes you inside what it’s like running a mega multi-national agency. Click play below for the interview and you will find the full transcript below.
C: Rob Stokes welcome to Bandwidth Blog video.
R: Hello Charl nice to see you.
C: Congrats on all the recent success it seems that Quirk is just cleaning up all the awards.
R: (laughs) I think we’ve got a long way to go.
C: OK. Tell us about the early beginnings of Quirk you know legend has it you started in your bedroom.
R: That is a true legend strangely and embarrassingly to admit. I was in my third year of business science at UCT and I ran out of money and an entrepreneur makes a plan and so I started a business called Quirk and here we are today.
C: Beautiful story for your memoirs or autobiography one day.
R: It is yah. I think, tough beginnings make for hopefully a resilient business and we certainly had some tough beginnings so I’m hoping we will make it long term.
C: Tell us about Quirk today – the amount of staff, office locations etc…
R: So we got three agencies – Joburg, London and Cape Town. We’ve got about 200 staff in the agency side of the business and there’s about 100, 120 of them in Cape Town, 50 or 60 of them in Joburg and I think about 30 in London. We’ve also got a couple of other businesses. We’ve got an online education and training business specifically focused on marketing training called Quirk Education that’s got about 10, 15 people in it. We’ve got Brandseye which is an online reputation monitoring software. That’s also about 10,15 people and then much smaller business Idea Bounty which is a crowd sourcing platform and yah, the biggest of the three offices is Cape Town which is I guess because we were birthed here, which is in many respects our HQ but I see that momentum shifting increasingly to Johannesburg particularly next year. (more…)
While Facebook started the term ‘friending’, a new app for the social network has been created that also lets users share people, places and things as “enemies” for everyone to see.
The app, launched on 15 March, called EnemyGraph, allows users to list anything with a presence on Facebook from “friends”, movies, books and products as an enemy.
The app was developed by a professor, Dean Terry, who directs the emerging media program at the University of Texas in Dallas along with two students. Terry assisted in conceptualising the project while students Bradley Griffith and Harrison Massey built the app. Griffith said that EnemyGraph has so far accumulated some 400 users but more importantly, the press coverage it has received has helped meet the team’s goal of sparking a larger conversation about the nature of social media and Facebook in particular.
Terry told Mashable that “One thing that has always struck me is the enforced niceness culture. We wanted to give people a chance to express dissonance as well. We’re using the word enemy about as accurately as Facebook uses the word friend.”
But the app is useful beyond simply sparking a philosophical debate, Terry adds. Researchers and marketers have long gathered information on social media users based on what they support or in the case of Facebook “Like”, but at the expense of possibly overlooking another valuable source of data, what they disagree with.
It looks like the Angry Birds franchise really is unstoppable. After only 3 days, the latest version of Angry Birds has hit the 10 million downloads mark. To put that in context, the wildly popular original version of Angry Birds “only” did that in 10 days. It should be pointed out that this time round Rovio somehow managed to rollout Angry Birds Space to a whole bunch of platforms at once – iPhone, iPad, Android, PC and Mac.
If you have not yet tried Angry Birds Space, it is pretty easy to find it on whatever platform you are using, and Rovio makes it pretty easy to find with free versions available as well. The game follows up from the existing Angry Birds game, but this time round things like gravitational forces around planets make the game a whole lot more challenging.
Apple Appstore: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Google Play: Android devices
Have you tried Angry Birds Space?
Local app dev studio immedia is running its second round of countrywide app dev training courses next moth to upskill South Africa’s developers.
April’s training sessions in a joint venture with akosma software will provide interested developers with the know-how to create their very own smartphone and tablet apps. These training courses will run in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and provide participants with the knowledge to join the app revolution, empowering them to be part of the globally competitive digital community. These training courses will be headed by professional trainers from Switzerland to South Africa, who are all experts in their field.
Application developer, Mohamed Osman, who attended the iOS Beginners training course said that “The training was very good. We had a great intro and good insight into practical development. It is better than training videos in that respect because it wasn’t sticking to theory but looking at commercial implementation of Apple apps.”
The following courses are being offered in April:
iOS Beginners: This is an introductory course for programmers wanting to learn the basics of iOS development. As an iOS development course, this provides learners with the building blocks of this platform and gets you on your way to creating iPhone and iPad applications. The course is most suitable for beginner developers with prior knowledge of any programming language and students with development experience wanting to specialise in iOS Development. This course is presented by immedia’s specialist cloud and mobile app developer, Kishyr Ramdial.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has reportedly begun to lose its home-ground advantage in Canada to Apple’s iPhone for the very first time since it began operations and revealed its first BlackBerry back in 1999. This is yet another sign that the once dominating mobile company is losing its advantage in smartphone innovation which is now being outpaced by Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices and Android smartphones.
In January of this year, RIM’s COO Thorsten Heins took over as CEO after the company’s long time joint CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, resigned after 20 years. Though trying to shake up things at RIM is a good move, Heins does not appear to be committed to a full-scale reboot that the brand desperately needs, a move that is especially important in the wake of BlackBerry’s service outage experienced last year by frustrated users in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Bloomberg reports that RIM, which is based in Ontario, shipped 2,1m BlackBerrys last year in Canada, while Apple shipped 2,9m units of its popular iPhone. In 2008, RIM was outselling Apple nearly five to one according to IDC.
The app, a local take on Square, aims to empower small retailers, merchants and individuals, who cannot afford the fees associated with credit card facilities, the ability to accept credit card payments directly from their mobile phones and will initially be available to both iOS and Android devices.
CheqOut founder Bradley Elliott explains that “95% of the SA economy is based on small businesses, however not all of them can afford the costs of credit card facilities or land lines because their turnover isn’t high enough. CheqOut’s aim is to empower these small businesses by providing them with an additional low-cost payment method and basic point-of-sale system.”
Users will sign-up for the service via the CheqOut website or app and fill in their banking details afterwhich CheqOut will send them a card reader at no charge. Once received, they will have the ability to receive credit card payments directly from their phone. The funds will clear in the user’s bank account within 48 hours and CheqOut will only charge one competitive flat rate per transaction with no additional monthly fees.
The app gives users the ability to add products, product categories, track sales, send receipts and even track a customer’s spend. Users will also have the ability to add multiple users to their account, allowing waitresses and other staff to accept payments.
We previously covered the story about the exciting initiative to provide free Wi-Fi for Stellenbosch and its residents.
The service, that is offered free of charge and without any need for registration is now live. To access, people can just look out for the “Stellenbosch Free Wifi” SSID. Range of the wifi is pretty limited right now, with access given in the area close to MXit’s offices in lower Dorp street, according to Simon de la Rouviere.
Joe Botha tested the Wi-Fi service with a speed test hosted by Web Africa, which you can see in the image below. Right now it is pretty speedy, but apparently the speed will be throttled to 1Mbps on official rollout on 1 April. The internet connection is also limited to web browsing, so don’t expect to go on an app download frenzy.
Update: Albert Cornelissen sent his speedtest results in, and it is not half bad!
To our readers in Stellies – have you tried it out? Is it worth using so far?