Telkom’s new mobile arm, 8ta, is in talks with Apple about bringing the US company’s popular iPhone 4 handset to SA. If the two parties reach agreement, 8ta, which Telkom launched on Thursday night, will be the third operator in the country to offer the hot-selling product.
Predictions are a tricky thing. Fifteen years ago, when the Internet was first flexing its gobal wings, futurists were predicting the end of all “traditional” media, particularly television. And while the dot-com bust deflated a lot of expectations, some of those predictions finally seem to be coming true. Time spent on everything from newspapers to cinema has been falling while Internet usage has been climbing inexorably higher.
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion has finally shown its hand in the tablet computer market, taking aim at Apple’s iPad with the PlayBook, a device with a 7-inch touch screen running the new BlackBerry Tablet OS. Aimed squarely at the corporate market – and thereby differentiating itself somewhat from the iPad – the PlayBook weighs 400g, has a screen resolution of 1024×600, sports a 1GHz dual-core processor, and supports true symmetric multiprocessing.
Android, Google’s mobile operating system, is set to contest the top spot in market share from Symbian within the next four years, says international technology research firm Gartner. Android was launched in late 2007 and has climbed steadily towards being the most popular operating system since.
Nokia is replacing its CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, with a top Microsoft executive, Stephen Elop, as the Finnish handset manufacturer seeks to make up for ground it has lost in recent years to rivals such as iPhone-maker Apple and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion. But already a senior Gartner analyst is questioning the move. “I’m in two minds about this,” says Gartner vice-president Nick Jones.
Vodacom has lost its exclusivity over Apple’s iPhone in SA: MTN will launch the product in the country within weeks. The cellular network operator will announce late on Thursday afternoon that it will begin selling the iPhone device through its channels. TechCentral has learnt that MTN will issue a press statement later on Thursday confirming what many had already expected: that it has secured a distribution agreement with Apple.
Apple’s iPad could go on sale in SA within a matter of weeks. Core Group, Apple’s sole local distributor, has confirmed it is in talks with the US company about bringing the tablet computer to the country.
Core Group executive director Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk says the company has held “lengthy discussions” with Apple and that Core will distribute both versions of the iPad – the cellular-ready product and the Wi-Fi-only configuration – exclusively to the SA market.
The smartphone market is not for sissies. One moment a manufacturer has a killer product; the next thing you know it’s struggling to remain relevant. That’s the case with Nokia, the Finnish handset manufacturer that for years ruled the roost in the smartphone market with devices such as the E90, the E61 and, in our view, its best business phone ever, the E71.
When it comes to the latest handsets, consumers want to know more about the software they’re buying than the hardware specifications of the phone itself. This is driving big competitive changes in the smartphone market and reshaping an industry. A few years ago, buying a cellphone was a relatively trivial exercise.