Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Is this a Vodacom / MTN dirty little secret?

Posted on: March 7th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 7 Comments

I have a simple question to float out there, that’s been banging around in my mind for a few years now:

Why has the iPhone (all versions) been so expensive in South Africa since it’s launch?

The question first emerged when I heard someone (when the iPhone was first launched in SA) suggest that Vodacom (the first SA supplier) couldn’t afford to price the iPhone anywhere close to International pricing levels because of how they’d priced the other phones in their stable. The way it was explained was that phones were priced based on quality, brand, features, etc, etc. Entry level phones where cheap and smart phones were expensive. This makes sense. If they priced the iPhone at international levels how would they sell their top end Nokias, Blackberrys, Samsungs, LGs, HTC’s, etc, etc. The iPhone was a top end phone, and top end phones got top end prices.Messing up their market was apparently more important than passing on the savings to their customers.

But if you remember back to the launch of the iPhone, one of the defining ‘features’ was that Apple came in with an exceptional phone priced at a ridiculously low price (in the US anyway). It was one of the reasons the iPhone became the big seller it did in the US and gained such a massive market share so quickly.

In South Africa many of us anticipated and hoped that it would be the same in South Africa. And of course it wasn’t. Getting an iPhone on contract required us to throw a fairly large chunk of change at the problem in order to secure one. We didn’t get the benefit our counterparts in the US did. We were disappointed and we ended up shelling out the money. What choice did we have?

A few weeks ago the iPad was launched in South Africa. The iPad has come into the country via The Core Group (the official Apple agent in SA). Entry level iPad’s are being sold at around R4300. 16gb of memory, and wifi with no 3G. It’s this that got me writing today’s post.

In my mind the iPad is a superior product to the iPhone. However you cut it, it must be more expensive to build, transport, store, etc, etc. So why is it at least 50% cheaper than an iPhone? The only difference I can see is that the iPhone is distributed through Vodacom and MTN and the iPad through Apple (via The Core Group)

In researching this post, I’ve found it difficult to get exact prices on iPhones. So while I can’t absolutely confirm the numbers I’m about to quote, I do believe they’re pretty close, based on the number of articles I’ve read and the numbers I’ve seen. I finally settled on data from Memeburn (a great SA resource for tech news and information)

In their article, ‘Comparative pricing study: How do you like them Apples?‘ they suggest:

  • we’re paying R4399 for an entry level iPad (16gb), which is 21% more than our US counterparts
  • and between R7000 – R7999 for an entry level iPhone 4 (16gb) – no US comparison offered.

I’d like an answer from someone (anyone) as to why this is so? The only credible explanation I can come up with is that the iPhone prices are so high because Vodacom can! And why hasn’t MTN launched the iPhone 4 at international pricing levels? I can’t confirm for sure what they’re selling the iPhone 4 at on Pay-as-you-go (there seems to be so little information available) but if they’re anywhere close to Vodacom, it’s because they can as well.

It’s the sort of story that Carte Blanche should pick up in my view? Or Aki Anastasiou on 702? Or the Competition Commission should investigate? Or South Africans should be a little more vocal about?

You’d hope there’d be a credible explanation, but the cynic in me thinks not. I’d like to be surprised. I’d like to know if this is a dirty little secret or not?

 

Changing the way I Read

Posted on: January 5th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

For those of you who follow the TomorrowToday blog regularly, you’ll know that one of my interests during 2010 was the shifting landscape of reading. All kinds of reading. Books, Newspapers, Magazines. What we were reading on? How we were going to pay for it? How ‘they’ were going to charge us for it?

I picked up a post on Memeburn this morning called iPad magazines: Not all they’re cut out to be. The thrust of the article centers around the decline in iPad Magazine sales over the last 6 months.

“According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which collects magazine circulation data from companies willing to furnish numbers, all iPad magazines have seen fall offs in downloads over the past few months. Wired was averaging 31,000 downloads from July through September, had 22,000 and 23,000 respectively in October and November. Other magazines have seen similar declines: Vanity Fair sold 8,700 downloads of its November issue, down from an average of about 10,500 from August through October; GQ sold 11,000 copies, its worst showing yet.”

The author suggests some possible reasons for the decline from a drop in marketing and hype, to the platform, to the price.

I don’t know about you? But I’m watching my reading change. Right in front of my eyes. Quite literally : ) The changes in my world have been influenced largely by the platform I’m using to do the reading and the apps I find to use. Here’s a quick and recent account of events:

The big change to my reading started with my iPhone and Twitter (SimplyTweet). This combination radically altered how I read. Before this duo arrived my world was all magazines, books and newspapers. All of a sudden I was reading 7-10 articles (posts) a day on my iPhone. Magazines and newspapers disappeared almost completely. Books remained.

A Kindle was added to the mix, but it didn’t change my Twitter reading at all. It was a complimentary addition. Of course paper based reading had now almost vanished from my life.

A few months ago I got an iPad. This has not only sent my iPhone packing, but it’s dramatically shifted where I get my reading material from. From getting almost all my reading from Twitter, I now almost exclusively am making use of RSS feeds. This has to do with the app I found, Early Edition. It’s a lot like Flipboard, but I can’t go back to Flipboard for some reason?

So for now Twitter has disappeared as a source of reading. I still engage with Twitter, but it’s become social and about people and less about the links to great reading. I must confess I miss it, and will find a way to integrate it back into my world.

What I do know is that whether people like it or not, the way we read, what we read on, what we’ll pay for it, when we’ll read…. it’s all going to change. I’m prepared to acknowledge I’m a little on edge, an early-ish adopter even, but when I see what’s going on in my reading world, if that’s just a tiny view of the future, we’re all in for quite a ride.

Mobile technology influence on Social Media

Posted on: December 8th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

After the article from Barrie Bramley on the influence of the smart phone I thought it would be a good idea to show you this infographic that outlines the effect of the mobile phone on social media.

 how-are-mobile-phones-changing-social-media_50290a6e052fa

The ‘Next-Future’ is the Smart-Phone

Posted on: November 29th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Through TomorrowToday, there are two presentations I do that speak to the future of Mobile Phones, Aftershock and Beyond the Hype. In both of them I’m fairly clear in my own mind on one trend around Mobile Phones – that the ‘next future’ is the Smart Phone.

For me it’s a simple process I use to get to that prediction…. when mobile phones began it was all about voice. We were all completely taken by the idea that we could talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. But things have changed. The change can be described as a move from ‘ears to eyes’. Increasingly, for those who’s phones enable them, are spending less time talking and more time looking. We doing less ‘ear work’ and more ‘eye work’.

Coupled with this, the mobile network operators are struggling to grow their voice business. In many countries, everyone who is going to talk on a phone has one. Short of encouraging us to talk more, there’s no real growth left in voice. Data has to be the next big opportunity for them for growth. And if you’re going to grow your data business, you’ve got to put a Smart Phone into the hands of all of your users.

As I see it, these two forces will converge on each other, driving the cost of Smart Phones down, and increasing the services offered by everyone that involve eyes and not ears.

I picked up a link on Twitter from zoopedup the other day to this article on TNW Mobile, ‘Android grabs 25.5% share of the global smartphone market‘. As you can see from the title it focusses on Android’s growth. But there were some other gems inside that grabbed my attention.

Like the growth of Smart Phone sales worldwide:

Worldwide mobile phone sales in the third quarter amounting to 417 million units, a rise of 35% from the third quarter in 2009, with smartphone sales experiencing growth of 96%, meaning that one in every five mobile phones sold during the three months was a smartphone.

And the reduction in price of Smart Phones, one of the reasons Android is doing so well:

Android has now become the second most popular mobile operating system worldwide, helped by mobile operators including Verizon where Android-powered smartphones were thought to have made up between 75% and 80% of its total smartphone sales in Q3. The availability of cur-price budget Android models has also helped introduce smartphones to new demographics and market segments has also helped drive demand.

Add ‘tablets’ to the mix, and Apple’s drive with the iPad and the ‘next-future’ is emerging right before our eyes…

With tablet devices coming to market, rivalling the iPad, as 2010 draws to a close, media tablets could reach up to 54.8 million units in 2011. Apple’s iOS operating system is heralded as one of the most important factors in the continued success of mobile devices as it presents a single platform for developers which spans across a number of different media devices.

The 'Next-Future' is the Smart-Phone

Posted on: November 29th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Through TomorrowToday, there are two presentations I do that speak to the future of Mobile Phones, Aftershock and Beyond the Hype. In both of them I’m fairly clear in my own mind on one trend around Mobile Phones – that the ‘next future’ is the Smart Phone.

For me it’s a simple process I use to get to that prediction…. when mobile phones began it was all about voice. We were all completely taken by the idea that we could talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. But things have changed. The change can be described as a move from ‘ears to eyes’. Increasingly, for those who’s phones enable them, are spending less time talking and more time looking. We doing less ‘ear work’ and more ‘eye work’.

Coupled with this, the mobile network operators are struggling to grow their voice business. In many countries, everyone who is going to talk on a phone has one. Short of encouraging us to talk more, there’s no real growth left in voice. Data has to be the next big opportunity for them for growth. And if you’re going to grow your data business, you’ve got to put a Smart Phone into the hands of all of your users.

As I see it, these two forces will converge on each other, driving the cost of Smart Phones down, and increasing the services offered by everyone that involve eyes and not ears.

I picked up a link on Twitter from zoopedup the other day to this article on TNW Mobile, ‘Android grabs 25.5% share of the global smartphone market‘. As you can see from the title it focusses on Android’s growth. But there were some other gems inside that grabbed my attention.

Like the growth of Smart Phone sales worldwide:

Worldwide mobile phone sales in the third quarter amounting to 417 million units, a rise of 35% from the third quarter in 2009, with smartphone sales experiencing growth of 96%, meaning that one in every five mobile phones sold during the three months was a smartphone.

And the reduction in price of Smart Phones, one of the reasons Android is doing so well:

Android has now become the second most popular mobile operating system worldwide, helped by mobile operators including Verizon where Android-powered smartphones were thought to have made up between 75% and 80% of its total smartphone sales in Q3. The availability of cur-price budget Android models has also helped introduce smartphones to new demographics and market segments has also helped drive demand.

Add ‘tablets’ to the mix, and Apple’s drive with the iPad and the ‘next-future’ is emerging right before our eyes…

With tablet devices coming to market, rivalling the iPad, as 2010 draws to a close, media tablets could reach up to 54.8 million units in 2011. Apple’s iOS operating system is heralded as one of the most important factors in the continued success of mobile devices as it presents a single platform for developers which spans across a number of different media devices.

The world is changing cell phones

Posted on: August 24th, 2009 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Once upon a time cell phones changed the world. They arrived when we didn’t expect them, and allowed us to do things we never imagined possible. We can quite safely say that our world today (where cell phones have had an influence) bares scant resemblance to the world of 15 years ago.

But people, being who they are, mastered the new opportunities cell phones created and we have individually and collectively pushed cell phone manufacturers and network operators into spaces they once never imagined possible. It’s a lovely example of what we’re capable of with opportunity, resources and a little time to tinker.

FastCompany recently published an article focussed on one cell phone manufacturer, the world’s largest, Nokia. If the article is to be believed then I am incorrect calling them a cell phone manufacturer. They no longer see themselves in that category. As to who they are, not even Nokia is certain?

“Just three years ago, we were competing against Motorola, Sony Ericsson, some Korean players, even Siemens,” he says from his office in Espoo, Finland, just outside of Helsinki. “The competitive environment in the industry at large has changed, and I sometimes struggle to define what industry we are in at the moment and what are the boundaries. But remember, I spoke in 2001 about putting the Internet in your pocket. And now consumers are realizing that these devices are not just for communicating by voice: It is all about information.”

While cell phone companies once significantly impacted how we saw the world, their new task is to take our post-cellphone worldview and re-imagine themselves for the future. That is if they’d like to stay in business.

This article is a great read. One worth sitting through to get a glimpse of a global leader finding their way in a world they’ve had a large role in influencing.

What’s new in MobileMe

Posted on: June 20th, 2009 by admin-kablooey No Comments

It’s not the normal practice on this blog to be show-casing new technology, for the simple reason that it’s kewl. We rather try and focus on the people impact changes have in the areas of technology, values, demographics and institutions. Certainly this post is related to changing how we see things, but I just loved the technology and wanted to post it for those that haven’t seen it.

It’s the new feature that Apple have built into the iPhone in it’s interaction with MobileMe. It’s very kewl. Way kewl. To read the full brief go here.

But a brief summary is:

Now, if you lose your iPhone, MobileMe can help you find it. MobileMe includes a new feature called Find My iPhone. Just enable Find My iPhone in MobileMe settings on your phone.* Then you can log in to me.com from any computer to access Find My iPhone and display your phone’s approximate location on a map.

As I said. Way kewl

What's new in MobileMe

Posted on: June 20th, 2009 by admin-kablooey No Comments

It’s not the normal practice on this blog to be show-casing new technology, for the simple reason that it’s kewl. We rather try and focus on the people impact changes have in the areas of technology, values, demographics and institutions. Certainly this post is related to changing how we see things, but I just loved the technology and wanted to post it for those that haven’t seen it.

It’s the new feature that Apple have built into the iPhone in it’s interaction with MobileMe. It’s very kewl. Way kewl. To read the full brief go here.

But a brief summary is:

Now, if you lose your iPhone, MobileMe can help you find it. MobileMe includes a new feature called Find My iPhone. Just enable Find My iPhone in MobileMe settings on your phone.* Then you can log in to me.com from any computer to access Find My iPhone and display your phone’s approximate location on a map.

As I said. Way kewl