Mobile Industry News Round-Up: First Quarter 2019

Published on: March 8, 2019

Welcome to our first regular mobile industry news round-up where the WASPA staff pick the top media stories that have recently caught their interest.

First off, we saw in January that foldable phones are back! This is great news for those of us who miss that satisfying ‘snap’ that only a folding phone can deliver. TechCrunch and a host of other media have reported on this new trend and journalists there wrote that they got to test a Chinese folding phone at CES in Las Vegas. The verdict: TechCrunch was unsure whether the phone was indeed a phone, or a mini-tablet. Also, that line between the two halves will have to be dealt with…

Next, there was significant coverage around WASPA’s newly-minted relationship with French anti-fraud firm, Evina. We’ve placed the press release announcing that Evina will assist WASPA in reviewing its anti-fraud guidelines on the WASPA website. Following the distribution of the release, coverage during the month of January was achieved on many news platforms from SA’s IT-Online to the continental news resource, AllAfrica.com.

RCS Chat has also received significant coverage of late. DigitalTrends.com wrote that Google Fi users will get much better texting after Google announced that it’s rolling out RCS Chat to the Google Fi Network, Google’s wireless smartphone service. Users will now benefit from a host of additional features including read receipts, as well as higher resolution videos and images.

Speaking of high-res, we saw ITWEB saying that 2019 will be the year of the smartphone camera. Journalist Lauren Rawlins believes that we’ll see more smartphone manufacturers concentrating on enhancing their high-end smartphone camera experience by adding extra cameras this year. Time will tell!

NewsByte also highlighted the trend towards RCS by drawing attention to text messaging’s downside: When you send an SMS today, there are no handy features such as read receipts, typing indicators or even stickers. RCS is changing all of this and this is exciting news for WASPA members, in particular.

MyBroadband in January again drew attention to the issue of malicious smartphone apps targeting unsuspecting smartphone users. The main thrust of the article was the detection by mobile technology company Upstream of a suspicious weather forecast application which was pre-installed on Alcatel smartphones. WASPA has previously warned about the threat posed by malware and ransomware and readers will find some handy hints in this regard in our list of recent press releases.

IT News Africa reported on the rise of smartphones in Africa. The interesting observation was made that mobile users in South Africa, Morocco, Senegal and Kenya connect to 4G signals on average between 72% and 75% of the time. However, download speeds vary from just 4.4 Mbps in Senegal to 14.4 Mbps in South Africa. Clearly, some work is yet to be done!

Finally, and in news related to the above snippet, we heard from BusinessTech that the three most popular smartphone brands in South Africa are Samsung, Huawei and Apple. This followed a poll by the website at the end of January. Some 8,885 people were asked which mobile brand they currently used. About 36% (3,160) of respondents said that they currently use a Samsung, followed closely by Huawei with 28% (2,521) and Apple with 19% (1,652). We suspect that these results indicate that the search for good value rules the handset roost in South Africa!

Sources:

https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/08/the-worlds-first-foldable-phone-is-real/

https://waspa.org.za/press_release/waspa-takes-aim-at-mobile-fraudsters-with-global-heavy-hitter/

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/google-fi-rcs-chat-support/

https://www.itweb.co.za/content/Olx4zMkgm2oM56km

https://www.newsbytesapp.com/timeline/Science/40767/181174/all-you-need-to-know-about-rcs-messaging

https://mybroadband.co.za/news/cellular/292292-south-africans-airtime-and-data-stolen-through-malicious-smartphone-app.html

https://www.itnewsafrica.com/2019/01/the-rise-of-mobile-experience-in-africa/

https://businesstech.co.za/news/mobile/297084/these-are-the-3-most-popular-smartphone-brands-in-south-africa/