Local social network Mxit has exited its Indian and Nigerian markets as the business shuts down its commercial operations, writes GARETH VAN ZYL.
Mxit had a high-profile launch in India at the beginning of 2014 which included cricketing star Gary Kirsten as the face of the social network’s marketing campaign in that country.
In November 2013 at Cape Town based technology conference AfricaCom, Vincent Maher, Mxit’s chief product officer at the time, said that the company was looking to markets such as India and Nigeria as the company’s next biggest growth areas.
However, Mxit announced on Friday that it is exiting its commercial business in South Africa and donating its assets and intellectual property to a public benefit organisation dubbed ‘The Reach Trust’.
And along with this move, Mxit confirmed that it has exited its India and Nigeria operations.
“In 2014, Mxit tested the efficacy of through-the-line marketing efforts in India and Nigeria. Although the brand could quickly acquire users, the long-term growth prospects in these highly competitive markets were carefully reviewed at the end of 2014, and compared to the on-going investment it would require to retain users,” read a statement from Mxit on Friday.
“In the beginning of 2015, the Group shifted its focus back to Southern Africa, and marketing activities in both of these markets ended.
“Most of the team that was employed by Mxit India for the marketing pilot was absorbed by GluePlus, which is not formally related to Mxit in any way,” said Mxit.
GluePlus describes itself on its website as an IT software development company with product and consulting divisions.
Sam Rufus Nallaraj, former Mxit India chief operating officer, is the CEO of GluePlus.
Mxit has exited its commercial business amid falling user numbers in South Africa, the market where it first started operations.
In 2013, Mxit reported over 6 million monthly active users in South Africa. But that figure has dropped to 1.2 million by July 2015 amid competition from other social networks such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
The Reach Trust is set to use Mxit’s technology to provide education and social services to people within Southern Africa.
Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search
From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.
Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.
In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.
Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.
Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.
As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.
South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.
Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40
5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.
Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”
Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”
Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion
Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024