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Huawei P9 passes 10m

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Gadget’s joint winner for phone of the year, along with its sibling, has reached a major sales milestone.

The Huawei P9 Plus, named by Gadget as one of its three phones of the year for 2016, has in combination with the P9 shipped more than 10 million units globally.

According to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG), this makes it the company’s first flagship series to top the 10 million mark.

This is a milestone for Huawei both from a product and brand perspective. Despite a sluggish global smartphone market in 2016, the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus devices have achieved impressive results in the premium segment; a milestone that indicates Huawei’s investment in international markets is paying off.

First revealed in April 2016, the dual-lens Huawei P9/P9 Plus devices were Huawei’s first flagship smartphones to be developed in collaboration with legendary German camera brand Leica. This extensive partnership has already set a new benchmark for advanced smartphone camera technology and delivered outstanding photography experiences to consumers.

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Global shipments of the P9 exceeded 2.6 million within six weeks of their release. Eight months since its release, the Huawei P9 has sustained its popularity, winning recognition from both experts and consumers for its camera experience, industrial design and overall performance. In addition to winning major awards including European Consumer Smartphone 2016-17 from EISA and Best Personal Computing Device at CES Asia, the Huawei P9 has also received positive reviews from hundreds of key international publications – including Gadget – making it a top choice for consumers looking for the best camera phone.

Thanks to the huge popularity of the P9 and P9 Plus, as well as the strong sales performance of the Mate 8 and Mate 9 devices, Huawei is making significant progress in the global high-end smartphone market. In the third quarter of 2016, Huawei shipped 33.59 million smartphones, up 23% from the previous year, with mid-to-high-end devices accounting for about 44% of the shipment.

So far, Huawei has shipped more than 1,2 million smartphones to South Africa, over 45 000 being the P9 and the P9 Plus this past year.

Huawei’s market share is now above 15% in 30 countries and above 20% in 20 countries; it also made substantial breakthroughs in key markets such as the UK, France and Germany. As of November 2016 Huawei has a value share in South Africa of 17.4 percent and 10.8 percent volume share. There has been a 43 percent growth rate in South Africa.

According to 2016 half year financial results, Huawei CBG sales were close to 77.4 billion RMB in the first half of year, up 41% from the same period in 2015; the growth rate in markets outside of China was 1.6 times that of the Greater China region.

Global awareness of the Huawei brand has continued to grow along with Huawei’s outstanding market performance. In 2016, Huawei was ranked No. 72 in Interbrand’s “Top 100” most valuable global brands list, 16 spots up from 2015. Huawei was again listed as one of the top 100 most valuable brands by Brand Z, at No.50 this year, up from No.70 in 2015. Additionally, in November, Huawei was named “Best Consumer Electronics Brand” in “Best Brands 2016 – the Chinese brand ranking” based on GfK’s consumer survey.

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IoT sensors are anything from doctor to canary in mines

Industrial IoT is changing the shape of the mining industry and the intelligence of the devices that drive it

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has become many things in the mining industry. A canary that uses sensors to monitor underground air quality, a medic that monitors healthcare, a security guard that’s constantly on guard, and underground mobile vehicle control. It has evolved from the simple connectivity of essential sensors to devices into an ecosystem of indispensable tools and solutions that redefine how mining manages people, productivity and compliance. According to Karien Bornheim, CEO of Footprint Africa Business Solutions (FABS), IoT offers an integrated business solution that can deliver long-term, strategic benefits to the mining industry.

“To fully harness the business potential of IoT, the mining sector has to understand precisely how it can add value,” she adds. “IoT needs to be implemented across the entire value chain in order to deliver fully optimised, relevant and turnkey operational solutions. It doesn’t matter how large the project is, or how complex, what matters is that it is done in line with business strategy and with a clear focus.”

Over the past few years, mining organisations have deployed emerging technologies to help bolster flagging profits, manage increasingly weighty compliance requirements, and reduce overheads. These technologies are finding a foothold in an industry that faces far more complexities around employee wellbeing and safety than many others, and that juggles numerous moving parts to achieve output and performance on a par with competitive standards. Already, these technologies have allowed mines to fundamentally change worker safety protocols and improve working conditions. They have also provided mining companies with the ability to embed solutions into legacy platforms, allowing for sensors and IoT to pull them into a connected net that delivers results.

“The key to achieving results with any IoT or technology project is to partner with service providers, not just shove solutions into identified gaps,” says Bornheim. “You need to start in the conceptual stage and move through the pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility stages before you start the implementation. Work with trained and qualified chemical, metallurgical, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and structural engineers that form a team led by a qualified engineering lead with experience in project management. This is the only way to ensure that every aspect of the project is aligned with the industry and its highly demanding specifications.”

Mining not only has complexities in compliance and health and safety, but the market has become saturated, difficult and mercurial. For organisations to thrive, they must find new revenue streams and innovate the ways in which they do business. This is where the data delivered by IoT sensors and devices can really transform the bottom line. If translated, analysed and used correctly, the data can provide insights that allow for the executive to make informed decisions about sites, investment and potential.


“The cross-pollination of different data sets from across different sites can help shift dynamics in plant operation and maintenance, in the execution of specific tasks, and so much more,” says Bornheim. “In addition, with sensors and connected devices and systems, mining operations can be managed intelligently to ensure the best results from equipment and people.”

The connection of the physical world to the digital is not new. Many of the applications currently being used or presented to the mining industry are not new either. What’s new is how these solutions are being implemented and the ways in which they are defined. It’s more than sticking on sensors. It’s using these sensors to streamline business across buildings, roads, vehicles, equipment, and sites. These sensors and the ways in which they are used or where they are installed can be customised to suit specific business requirements.

“With qualified electronic engineers and software experts, you can design a vast array of solutions to meet the real needs of your business,” says Bornheim. “Our engineers can programme, create, migrate and integrate embedded IoT solutions for microcontrollers, sensors, and processors. They can also develop intuitive dashboards and human-machine interfaces for IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) devices to manage the input and output of a wide range of functionalities.”

The benefits of IoT lie in its ubiquity. It can be used in tandem with artificial intelligence or machine learning systems to enhance analytics, improve the automation of basic processes and monitor systems and equipment for faults. It can be used alongside M2M applications to enhance the results and the outcomes of the systems and their roles. And it can be used to improve collaboration and communication between man, machine and mine.

“You can use IoT platforms to visualise mission-critical data for device monitoring, remote control, alerts, security management, health and safety and healthcare,” concludes Bornheim. “The sky is genuinely the limit, especially now that the cost of sensors has come down and the intelligence of solutions and applications has gone up. From real-time insights to hands-on security and safety alerts to data that changes business direction and focus, IoT brings a myriad of benefits to the table.”

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Oracle leads in clash of
e-commerce titans

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Three e-commerce platforms have been awarded “gold medals” for leading the way in customer experience. SoftwareReviews, a division of Info-Tech Research Group, named Oracle Commerce Cloud the leader in its 2020 eCommerce Data Quadrant Awards, followed by Shopify Plus and IBM Digital Commerce. The awards are based on user reviews. 
The three vendors received the following citations:

  • Oracle Commerce Cloud ranked highest among software users, earning the number-one spot in many of the product feature section areas, shining brightest in reporting and analytics, predictive recommendations, order management, and integrated search. 
  • Shopify Plus performed consistently well according to users, taking the number-one spot for catalogue management, shopping cart management and ease of customisation.
  • IBM Digital Commerce did exceptionally well in business value created, quality of features, and vendor support.

The SoftwareReviews Data Quadrant differentiates itself with insightful survey questions, backed by 22 years of research in IT. The study involves gathering intelligence on user satisfaction with both product features and experience with the vendor. When distilled, the customer’s experience is shaped by both the software interface and relationship with the vendor. Evaluating enterprise software along these two dimensions provides a comprehensive understanding of the product in its entirety and helps identify vendors that can deliver on both for the complete software experience.

“Our recent Data Quadrant in e-commerce solutions provides a compelling snapshot of the most popular enterprise-ready players, and can help you make an informed, data-driven selection of an e-commerce platform that will exceed your expectations,” says Ben Dickie, research director at Info-Tech Research Group. 

“Having a dedicated e-commerce platform is where the rubber hits the road in transacting with your customers through digital channels. These platforms provide an indispensable array of features, from product catalog and cart management to payment processing to detailed transaction analytics.”

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