5G projected to spur smartphone sales revival

Gartner senior research director Ranjit Atwal. File photo

Gartner senior research director Ranjit Atwal. File photo

Africa Editor
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE advent of the fifth generation of mobile networks (5G) is projected, from next year, to curb the decline in global sales of smartphones.

The projections come amid worldwide shipments of smartphones predicted to suffer their worst decline to date, a decline of 3,2 percent in 2019.

This is according to the world’s leading research and advisory company, which predicts that in total, worldwide shipments of devices including computers, tablets and mobile phones, will decline 3,7 percent in 2019.

However, as a result of the impact of fifth generation of mobile networks (5G), the smartphone market is expected to return to growth at 2,9 percent in 2020.

Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner, explained the ongoing decline.

“This is due to consumers holding onto their phones longer, given the limited attraction of new technology,” he enlightened.

Gartner estimates there are more than 5 billion mobile phones used around the world but after years of growth, the worldwide smartphone market has reached a “tipping point.”

Atwal said consumers had reached a threshold for new technology and applications.

“Unless the devices provide significant new utility, efficiency or experiences, users do not necessarily want to upgrade their phones,” he said.

The lifetimes of premium phones such Android and iOS products continue to extend through 2019, Gartner explained, adding their quality and technology features had improved significantly.

It has reached a level where users saw high value in their device beyond a two-year time frame.

Conversely, the share of 5G-capable phones will increase from 10 percent in 2020 to 56 percent by 2023, according to Gartner.

Atwal said the major players in the mobile phone market would look for 5G connectivity technology to boost replacements of existing 4G phones.

“Still, less than half of communications service providers globally will have launched a commercial 5G network in the next five years,” he added.

The research executive noted more than a dozen service providers had launched commercial 5G services in a handful of markets so far.

To ensure smartphone sales recover, mobile providers are starting to emphasize 5G performance features, like faster speeds, improved network availability and enhanced security, he said.

“As soon as providers better align their early performance claims for 5G with concrete plans, we expect to see 5G phones account for more than half of phone sales in 2023,” Atwal projected.

The recent Gartner Internet of Things (IoT) forecast showed that 5G endpoint installed base would grow 14-fold between 2020 and 2023, from 3.5 million units to 48.6 million units.

By 2028, the installed base would reach 324,1 million units, although 5G will make up only 2,1 percent of the overall IoT endpoints.

– CAJ News

North Africa building a vibrant digital economy

Huawei headquarters, Shenzhen, China

Digital economy for North Africa with Huawei

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) GOVERNMENT and the private sector are promoting the digital economy and the building of an efficient technological ecosystem in North Africa.

This has been the principal theme at the just-concluded North African Innovation Day held in the Tunisian capital, Tunisia.

Organised by Huawei, under the patronage of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Digital Economy, and in collaboration with the Arab Information Technology Organisation (AICTO), the event realises technological innovation as a powerful lever of total connectivity in Africa and the Arab world.

The North African Innovation Day came as beginning of the celebration this year of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Huawei in Tunisia.

It also came on the recently-concluded Afric’Up, which brought together all African digital actors, investors, incubators, experts, researchers, startups, associations, institutions, representatives of the African diaspora and professional guests from other continents.

“How will innovation be able to make a useful contribution to digital, and to this end rely on appropriate partnerships and cooperation?” Spark Zhang, General Manager of Huawei Tunisia, asked rhetorically.

“It is to this debate that we invite the participants,” Zhang said.

Adnane Ben Halima, Deputy General Manager at Huawei Tunisia, said they had invited a number of experts from Huawei’s various units as well as local partners and representatives of major Arab and African organisations.

“It is this mix of expertise and networking that we encourage the most, Halima said.

Anouar Maarouf, Minister of Information Technologies and Digital Economy, opened the aforementioned events.

Mohamed Ben Amor, Secretary General of AICTO, was among the guests.

Philippe Wang, Vice President of Huawei North Africa, said the company aspired to put its capabilities at the service of our partners in the Arab world and on the African continent.

“The aim is to offer the most appropriate products and solutions as well as the appropriate training, support and expertise sharing programmes,” Wang said.

Huawei’s ICT Academy, which has signed agreements with 47 Tunisian universities, is preparing to train 10 000 students over the next five years.

– CAJ News

Checkers Hyper opens landmark enviro-friendly outlet

Checkers Sandton ribbon cutting

Checkers Sandton ribbon cutting

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) CHECKERS Hyper, the retailer, has unveiled its first facility fully complying with guidelines to preserve wilderness and reduce human impact on the environment.

Checkers Sandton staff

Checkers Sandton staff

The store in Sandton City, north of Johannesburg, will be the first with the On Pack Recycling Labels (OPRLs), as per the guidelines recently published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa.

It will offer customers a 100 percent recyclable and compostable paper bag.

The store revealed on Thursday created almost 60 new jobs.

It brings Checkers Hyper Sandton City’s full staff complement to 290, of which 225 are women.

Checkers Hyper Sandton City comes complete with chocolatier bar, an open-flame pizza oven, an in-store Kauai and an extensive range of innovative new products.

Selva Pillay, the seasoned Branch Manager, will head the store.

Pillay joined the Shoprite Group in 1991.

– CAJ News

Kenya’s most popular smartphone revealed

Neon Nova

Neon Nova

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) THE Neon has emerged the most popular and affordable smartphone in Kenya, according to a leading mobile network operator.

Safaricom announced that it has sold more than 600 000 of these smartphones in 2019.

The explosion in the Neon’s popularity comes after Safaricom revamped its lineup in April 2019 to introduce it as the most affordable 4G smartphone in the country at KSh 3 999 (US$38,48).

“We introduced the Neon Smartphone range to cater to customers seeking quality and reliable smartphones at an affordable price,” said Michael Joseph, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer.

“The devices are especially designed to appeal to first-time smartphone users and have been received quite well, emerging as our most preferred smartphone range,” he added.

Neon smartphones are, according to Safaricom, tailored to offer an optimum combination of screen-size, battery capacity, device storage, camera and phone memory at low prices

In recent months, Safaricom has partnered with Google(tm) to deliver an optimized variety of Android(tm) known as Android(tm) (Go edition) on the Neon devices.

The Neon range are also rated the most affordable Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) capable devices in Kenya.

VoLTE was launched in June.

– CAJ News

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