Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Super Phone

I had a beer with Conrad recently and he talked about “Super Phones”. Then yesterday I took some people from the Dutch Embassy for a tour of Mxit’s office and explained how Mxit runs on about 4000 different phones. I also spotted these slides from Dave yesterday. These different categories of phones seemed to make sense when talking about the South African phone market:

  • The Dumb phone. Pretty much a calculator that can make a phone call. 11 Million of them.
  • The Feature phone. Like the Dumb phone but it can access the internet. Seems only 25% of their owners care about the internet so let’s say 4.5 Million of these. (Ignoring the other 12.5 Million calculators that can connect to the internet but don’t care to).
  • The Smart phone. Mostly BlackBerry (OS5 and OS7) and let’s include Nokia S60. 8 Million of these. (5m + 3m)
  • The Super phone. Apple and Android. 1.5 Million of these.


Joe’s phone

In summary, my biased view, as somebody involved in building mobile phone applications: we’ve already passed the point where smartphones are more relevant than feature phones.

If you only develop for iOS, Android and Blackberry (OS5 and OS7) you have about 7m users. Feature phones sit at about 7m (if you include Nokia).

By next year this will probably be 12 vs 8.

Thanks for the stats Dave.

Disclaimer: I’m doing a lot of guessing and maybe some over-simplification and I’m pretty much just looking at this from the point of building native apps in South Africa. I’m also assuming all smart/superphone users care about connecting to the internet and using apps.

Quick Update

We’ve passed the Winter Solstice..

  • Monday, tea, dropped Mia at school, Grim Furdango meeting, meeting at Newport Deli, met up with The Big Cheeser – Rob in Rondebosch, inbox scrubbing.
  • Tuesday, morning podcast walk to Lanzerac, entrepreneurship advice meetup over a smoothie, the usual blur of work things.. time just speeds up, inbox scrubbing.
  • If I scroll all the way down my Facebook timeline I get… “O fok Johann. daai ‘complicated’ met Naulene klink dodgy. haha.” — Georg, 5 September 2007

  • Wednesday, morning podcast walk to Lazerac, breakfast meeting about a startup co-working space in Stellenbosch.. paid with Gust, haircut at Ancia’s, took a walk around Stellenbosch and had a sushi salad, moar inbox scrubbing.
  • Thursday, Mxit Thursdays at Klein Libertas Theatre.
  • Friday, fetched Mia, start of the school holidays, Q7 test drive, lunch at Vergelegen – Stables.. nice place.
  • I made it into the Mail&Guardian 200 Young South Africans list.
  • Saturday, Hope Street market with the family.. not bad, watched the rugby with Werner at Osetra.
  • “You can’t keep a good man down.” — seen on a tshirt

  • Sunday, family lunch at Morituri – Stellenbosch, Wakaberry, photo processing, watched Game of Thrones.. probably the first series since Californication that does not suck.
  • Tunes of the week: The Wes Anderson movie soundtracks, but mostly Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Gust goes Beta…

  • Six weeks after the Alpha we have a Gust Beta!
  • Monday, woke up in Montagu, drove back to Stellenbosch.
  • The Future Economy.
  • Tuesday, a beer with Conrad at Trumet Tree.
  • Wednesday, Gust video meeting, butternut soup at 22Seven’s office, installed the first Gust merchant in Cape Town with Sarah, 3rd #hackstb meetup, a beer at Trumpet Tree.
  • Installing Gust in Cape Town made me think of the early Frogfoot days, installing leased lines at client offices, meeting interesting people. Nice to have a product which people want.
  • Thursday, morning walk, Gust Beta demo, a walk around Stellenbosch and a beer at Gino’s.
  • When you install Gust for the first time, and it’s not immediately obvious, notice how the name, payment gesture, logo and a sound effect are all related.
  • I figure the ideas around moving money are pretty simple – to change the culture of spending cash is an interesting challenge.
  • Phase1: NDA, Phase2: Phase3: Profit.
  • — for Dirk.

  • 600+ Twitter followers this week, gaining on my 1010 FB friends.
  • Friday, Mia was sick so I stayed at home with her and we went to watch Madagascar 3.. good movie, installed a Gust upgrade at Mill House, Star Wars Lego shopping, watched Return of the Jedi with roast chicken burgers, a quick emergency ward visit.. turns out Mia had a bladder infection.
  • Naulene thinks I’m a workaholic.. something about thinking about work more than 80% of the time.
  • I’ve been using Pocket – pretty cool. Helps cut down the browser tab backlog.
  • Saturday, tea, Star Wars E6, gym, watched the rugby at Gino’s with Mia, Werner, Janette, Georg and Ches.. while Naulene’s friends threw a surprise engagement party for her, desert at Wakaberry.
  • Where do people find the time to watch TV?
  • Sunday, Mia work up and said: “Happy Father’s Day daddy.”, watched The Empire Strikes Back, photo processing, nap, burger at 5 Reyneveld with Mia, ice cream.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Wacky wine weekend…

  • Monday, morning podcast walk to Lazerac, watched SA vs Ireland junior rugby champs at Coetzenburg with Georg, watched The Rum Diary.. very good.
  • “It’s like keying your own car.” — Georg, about South Africans supporting NZ.

  • Tuesday, morning walk to Lanzerac, rainy day inbox scrubbing.
  • Wednesday, a quick and rainy morning walk, new Gust pre-Beta site, burger at Cognito with Werner and Janette.
  • Thursday, rainy day, stayed in bed till about 14:00 – working in bed, Mxit Thursdays at Casbah.
  • We now have a Grim Furdango logo.
  • Friday, Gust meeting, watched Prometheus.. I enjoyed it, drove to Montagu with the family for Wacky Wine weekend and stayed at Avalon Springs.
  • Saturday, tasted the 6 Chardonnays of De Wetshof, Graham Beck, proposed to Naulene, hot springs swimming.
  • Sunday, Springfield, lunch at Van Loveren, hot springs swimming.
  • 1009 FB friends this week.
  • To put this engagement in context.. Saturday was exactly 8 years after I took the first photo of Naulene, 1 year after we got back together and almost 2 years after our high court custody battles of 2010.
  • GSM data outside the metro areas sucks. “EDGE” at Wacky Wine was useless.
  • I suspect the next six weeks are going to speed up and get bumpy. Lots of Gust work to be done.

Have a crazy week, fun kids.

Quick Update

Gust pre-Beta…

  • Monday, tea and grapefruit, dropped Mia at school, gym, events meeting.. we now have a name for the event: Grim Furdango, announced the STBPOI challenge, we started working on Gust for Android.
  • I think I’ve got enough points to be Vitality Diamond status now.
  • Tuesday, Gust testing, dinner at Rust & Vrede with Jan, Alex, Pieter, Carel and Storm… Kevin Arnold Shiraz 2006, Rustenberg John X Merriman 2007, Tokara Director’s Reserve Red 2007, awesome dinner.
  • Wednesday, randomly drove past Andrew and Georg on the N2, meeting at 22Seven, lunch with Georg in Kloof Street, got an iPhone 4s 32G, Mia visit.
  • Maybe the secret is simply to be fanatical about product design and quality.
  • I now have three laptop chargers for one laptop.. upstairs, downstairs and office.
  • Thursday, Gust Beta2 Demo day, Mxit Thursdays at Gino’s and Trumpet Tree with Georg.
  • “Step1: build mobile app. Step2: Step3: Profit.” — Dirk

  • “Form is essentially orthogonal to substance.” — Gino’s talk

  • Thought for the week: there is more to progress than attention and interruption.
  • Friday, Gust meeting, a beer with Werner at Trumpet Tree, tinkered with my new Kindle and started reading The Intention Economy.
  • Saturday, fetched the family, finally got my car back, breakfast at the Waldorf market (a bit lame), Mia and I went shopping, watched Clone Wars, watched the rugby at the bar across from Java (?) with Werner.
  • Sunday, up early, tea, started writing a business plan (light) while the kids watched UP, Blaauwklippen market with the family, Andrew, Paul and Victoria, nap, sunset walk, slept like a baby.
  • Naulene has created a monster. Mia now has her own wallet and is a very keen shopper – spending her birthday money at weekend markets. I’ll have to show her Gust soon.
  • iPhone 4S comments: Camera is pretty good, probably better than one of my two compact cameras, but the HDR feature is lame. Battery life is not as bad as I was expecting. Still think the old Nokia’s phone features and note taking is better. I’m probably the worst kind of iPhone user, I pretty much switch everything off and install the minimum apps.. no desire to try Siri or iCloud.

Have a fun week, iPhone kids.