Smartphones need more speed

2011-11-08 22:31

Cape Town - Impediments to smartphone adoption in South Africa need to be addressed in order to give consumers a better experience in using the devices, Samsung has said.

"There're a couple of things that drive smartphone adoption: The first is the competition that exists between the manufacturers.

"The good thing for the consumer is that as OEMs [Original Equipment Manufacturers] try and out-innovate each other, what then happens is that the price of the devices start coming down," Samsung spokesperson Paulo Ferreira told News24.

He said that a decline in prices would make more smartphones accessible to the majority of users in SA.

This should result in behavioural changes in the way people access information and communicate.

High-speed connections

However, he warned that delays in the implementation of high-speed wireless connections could lay a big role in limiting the adoption of smartphones as consumers would not be able to extract full value from the devices.

"Availability of high-speed connectivity is an important" factor in making smartphone adoption universal, he said.

Mobile operators in SA are heading toward the LTE standard, but roll-out is slow and may require government assistance or intervention.

Ferreira said that current connectivity was good, but that Samsung products were capable of utilising higher speed connections than was currently available.

"In South Africa we already have HSPA+ as a connectivity which the operators provide. So the experience for the consumers is a good one when they're streaming content from the web, but it could be better when you compare it with 4G.

"We're looking forward to working with the operators to ensure that as they make those fast networks available; we're right up there leading in terms of the connectivity technology which our products can offer," he said.

Samsung said that it was ready to launch products from its global market in SA when the networks to support them became available.


"We have those products right now - in other markets - it's a question of the networks being available and being ready in South Africa, and we will obviously follow the networks with our products," said Ferreira.

According to him, smartphones added more value because of the applications and content available.

"Applications and content is another value proposition which needs to be in place. When the application markets reach a point where those applications which are available at a global level actually become meaningful to the South African citizen as well, that's when the device also transforms itself into an even more valuable type of device."

Samsung also hinted that it is looking to BlackBerry producer Reseach In Motion's strategy to drive adoption of its devices.

RIM offers an unlimited internet package with BlackBerry smartphones. This has resulted in huge growth in developing markets where consumers are price sensitive.

"Nothing to announce at this stage, but Samsung's very interested in having this conversation with the operators because the operators also want to look at how they can offer a stronger value proposition around smartphones which run the Android operating system.

"I think it's in everybody's best interest that data prices come down; that the consumer benefits from this," Ferreira said.

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  • rlong1952 - 2011-11-08 23:39

    I am in South Korea, the home of Samsung and they are bragging about 4G and LTE being instituted abroad, pity they can't do it in their own country too. These services are still only available to a very limited extent in some major cities in Korea and technology experts here say that even SK is not ready for this technology yet and it is likely to take 3 or 4 years till Korea implement it fully. Not quite sure what they are on about here, pot calling the kettle black if you ask me.

      SToast - 2011-11-09 00:55

      That's good to hear. I don't even get any data reception at home. When I am in town, sometimes it shows 3G, but as soon as I start using data it switches to EDGE? One day....One day.....

  • Len - 2011-11-09 07:37

    Frustrating indeed that between my iphone and blackberry, there is hardly anytime that both have full 3G, and Samsung is talking 4G? You may have to drive 50km to experience 4G, which considering the price of petrol, may not be worth it anyway. I am all for advancements, but if our non-competitive local operators cannot provide a strong enough signal to work in an elevator, then how do we expect them to come up with 4G?

  • Oneant - 2011-11-09 07:45

    the speed is FINE people... just let me watch a 10 minute youtube clip without it costing me the price of a three course meal FFS. All these networks are unzipping, flopping out, and comparing their speed, forgetting that the average smartphone user, with a handset that can view 420p video, don't do it because they only have enough cap to send a few emails and do facebook every month... And no.. im not going to run around looking for a WiFi connection.

      Oneant - 2011-11-09 07:46

      my point is, bring down the cost of driving a Ferrari before trying to sell Ferraris to everyone.

  • Tim√ęsto Van Dyk - 2011-11-09 09:29

    The speed is okey, what's irritating are these high data charges...good thing the is cell least they numb the pain. Other networks should follow in their foot steps

  • Lauden Kirk - 2011-11-09 09:39

    Expensive, inconsistent service, inconsistent coverage, remind me the profits of vodacom this last quarter.

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