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Interviews

  • 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...

  • Kalvin Subbadu: Watch out, there’s more to come from WD South Africa

    WD (the hard drive division of Western Digital Corporation) has been a big player in the storage industry since the early 1970s. The Irvine, California-based company has seen spikes in revenue and profits for a few quarters now, and that's backed up by improving prospects in the southern tip of Africa too. At EGE 2015, Gearburn sat down with WD sales manager of components Kalvin Subbadu and Nick de Jager, key account manager for WD's primary partner Frontosa SA, to shed a little more light WD's future in terms of gaming, storage technologies as well as its future in South...

  • Rest.less Games: tales from the indie game industry and ‘Wait: Extended’

    A little while ago my editor presented me with a Steam bundle of games. “I thought you might want to check them out,” he said. “Let me know if you can perhaps scrape out a review for them.” As a loyal subject to my Lord Editor, and the honourable circle of Gearburn, I complied. One by one I tried the titles and with each one my frustration grew. Yes, some were admittedly moderately fun, most just bearable and a few didn’t even work. That was until I came across one game, the last of the bundle. This game was Wait, a...

  • Meet Alice’s Dystopia: South Africa’s first all-female ‘League of Legends’ team

    In a world dominated by males between the age of 15 and 25, League of Legends suffers from an identity crisis. Although it's one of the world's most popular MMORPGs, about 90% of the user base roots itself in this static demographic, so coming across a group that bucks this trend is both refreshing and groundbreaking. MaDHatter's Alice's Dystopia, as noted on the team's offical page, is "the first all female League of Legends team in South Africa to climb their way up the ranks of the League elo," and my, they kick ass. At rAge 2014's three exhibition matches,...

  • Beyond periphery: Logitech promises a ‘big year’ for South Africa in 2015

    Logitech's a rarity at the moment -- it's a technology company on the rise. Revenue has increased year on year (pdf), and that trend is set to continue into the next fiscal quarter. It's looking to become a key player in the South African market, as well as the world, building beyond But what is the company's secret and what, more importantly for us, can South African expect from this computer gear giant in the coming years? Well, it turns out quite a bit in fact. Gearburn sat down with Logitech's Country Sales Manager for South Africa, Robert Anderson, to find...

  • Tom Happ, creator of indie game Axiom Verge, on his ‘vessel of consciousness and reality’

    Axiom Verge is the sort of retro, independently created game anyone with a heart and an itching for exploration should take note of. Its lone creator, Tom Happ, is a one-man band who developed, scripted, designed and tested the rather fantastic Axiom Verge. For those who aren't aware, Axiom Verge looks and plays like an moody Super Metroid, but has the design and soul of modern game. I managed to get my hands on the PS4 version of Axiom Verge at E3 2014 (which had about two to three hours of gameplay in it) as well a chat with Happ himself. Happ's a...