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Interviews

  • Interview: HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela

    "It was overwhelming. We went to the meetings and people are coming and hugging, (saying) 'thank god you are bringing Nokia back'." This was according to HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela, speaking to Gearburn at the Nokia/HMD launch event in Johannesburg. The event officially welcomes Nokia-branded smartphones, running Android, to South Africa, Nummela, a long-time Nokia veteran, said that they "couldn't find a country in the world" that was unwilling to bring Nokia smartphones back. The Nokia-branded Android phones are shaping up to be very promising phones in their own right. But the company also launched the Nokia 3310 reboot, coming to...

  • Q&A: VS Gaming’s Cambridge Mokanyane on FIFA tournament, more

    Telkom announced on Friday that it has officially spun its Digital Gaming League (DGL) operations into a separate company, called VS Gaming. Spearheaded by former Telkom executive Cambridge Mokanyane, it will mostly be business as usual for the new firm. However, the company has also announced a new partnership with Supersport and what it calls the continent's largest FIFA gaming contest. We interviewed Mokanyane, covering the motivation for the new company, that FIFA tournament and the South African esports landscape. So what benefits are there to having VS Gaming as its own company, as opposed to DGL? "I think the benefit is that...

  • Interview: LG SA on G6 price, free screen repairs and more

    The LG G6 launch event took place yesterday (4 April), with the South Korean firm revealing pricing and more details surrounding the launch. We interviewed Deon Prinsloo, general manager for mobile communication at LG Electronics SA, covering pricing, competitors and more. For the uninitiated, the G6 will have a retail price of R14 629, making it slightly cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S8. Still, there's the perception that the phone should've possibly been on par with the G5, which had an R11 799 price tag. What does LG make of that? "If we have a look at it in terms of the post-paid environment,...

  • Interview: LG’s Seongho Choi on smart appliances, future of IoT

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fast-paced sector, as a ton of companies get into the game. LG has been in the sector for a while though, launching the likes of robot vacuum cleaners, general smart appliances and recently launching its Hub robot speaker. What do we expect from the tech in the future? What about turning "dumb" appliances into smart ones? When can we see more tech on the continent? We interviewed Seongho Choi, senior vice-president of cloud centre at LG, specialising in IoT and robotics. LG's solution for non-smart devices? When a journalist asked about LG's approach to robotics/smart appliances on the...

  • We talk South Africa’s indie gaming scene with Microsoft’s Clifford de Wit

    Whether it be puzzlers or role-playing titles, there is no shortage of indie video games. As shown by our Digital All Stars pieces on indie gaming companies and the community, there's a significant indie gaming scene in South Africa. Memeburn had a chance to sit down with DPE Lead at Microsoft, Clifford de Wit, at the recent Microsoft Tech Summit event in Johannesburg. Aside from the general information on Azure and systems, we also spoke to him about Microsoft and the indie video game scene. The Windows store "The store is getting unified now and that makes a big difference," explains de Wit,...

  • Meizu in South Africa: what to expect from Chinese brand?

    Meizu isn't the most well-known smartphone brand, but it's definitely one of the more interesting players in the market. Alongside Xiaomi, Huawei and Oppo, Meizu is one of the most popular and respected manufacturers in China, earning a reputation in the Far East for (surprise) well-designed handsets at a solid price. So we're glad to hear that the company has come to South Africa, in the form of an online store and being officially represented by 2C Telecoms. We conducted a Q&A with Ferdi van Niekerk Jr, national sales director for Meizu Mobile South Africa. Van Niekerk confirmed that 2C Telecoms was the...

  • MediaTek’s Finbarr Moynihan on 2017’s smartphones and more

    Chinese mobile chip manufacturer MediaTek has been growing at phenomenal pace, making a name for itself thanks to powering scores of budget smartphones around the world. The company has been targeting industry leaders Qualcomm for the past few years now, with its Helio range of processors being found in higher end phones from Xiaomi, Meizu, Sony, HTC and more. So what does the firm make of its rivals? What about the South Africa and African market? We interviewed Finbarr Moynihan, general manager for international corporate sales at Mediatek. Moynihan didn't have specific marketshare numbers for the continent, but expanded on the market situation. "What...

  • Bringing Xiaomi to Africa: RJ van Spaandonk talks Xiaomi & future plans

    Mobile In Africa (MIA) Group has made quite a splash since its launch late last year. Founded by Core Group's RJ van Spaandonk, the new firm brought Xiaomi smartphones to South Africa and the continent at large in 2015. It seems like a natural fit really, as the Chinese brand is renowned for striking an impressive price/performance ratio. How did the deal come about? Is there any tension as a result of Core and MIA being rivals in a sense? What else can we expect? We interviewed the MIA founder. Why team up with Xiaomi? Van Spaandonk said there were two reasons for the...

  • Anthony Goodman: AG Mobile’s ‘born to look after the customer’

    The smartphone business is a cut-throat world, where the small fry are usually chewed up and spat out by the baleen whales of the big blue. But sometimes, thanks to luck and what we imagine must be a fair bit of determination, said small fry turn into companies that make a few massive waves in the space themselves. Although many people in South Africa have not heard of AG Mobile, the company has been around since 2007 in its current guise, and 1994 in its post-natal infancy. Founded by Anthony Goodman, a South African-born entrepreneur and technology enthusiast, AG Mobile has...

  • Grafting your own ‘Call of Duty’ tournament: an interview with Jozi Underground

    It's no real surprise that gaming is growing both internationally and locally. All over the world, gamers are turning their hobbies into fierce competitive duels for glory and sometimes a little more. For those who aren't eSports hot shots, even the smaller tournaments are events to look forward to. When considering eSports globally though, the figures in general will scare you. DotA 2's The International boasts a current crowdfunded prize pool topping US$14-million, and is easily one of the more lucrative global eSports tournaments out there. The more you look at the competitive gaming scene the more you realize that there's a...