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Storage blues for smartphones

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A recent survey has revealed that storage is a problem for many smartphone users in SA, with 22 percent running out of space at least once a week and 56 percent running out of space every three months.

Storage appears to be a real problem for many smartphone users in South Africa, with 22 percent running out of space at least once a week and 56 percent running out of space at least every three months. This is according to a countrywide independent consumer research from SanDisk.

68 percent have also regretted deleting a precious photo or video to free up storage space. If they do have to delete files, 29 percent of South Africans would delete a photo of themselves before that of friends, pets or family.

The research, which looked at people’s experiences with storage on smartphones, also found that 38 per cent of people have to delete files or data from their main handsets in order to free up space at least once a week, while two thirds (66 percent) do this at least once a month.

Ghassan Azzi, Senior Sales Manager for Africa at Western Digital Corporation, said: “Our research really highlights the pressure that people are under to choose what they want to keep on mobile handsets. With the average person in South Africa taking 26 photos and eight videos a week on their smartphone, and the size of digital images and video increasing rapidly, devices soon fill up.”

In addition to the challenges around storage, the research also looked at security, with 56 percent of respondents being fairly worried or very worried that the files and data on their smartphone are at risk of theft or loss through product malfunction, and 68 percent said they had lost a precious photo or video from their smartphone as a result of files not being backed up.

Despite this, only 39 percent of South Africans manually back up their data and files from the main handset once a week, and nine percent never back up files at all, excluding automatic backups and data synchs.

Azzi added: “What many people don’t realise is that there are numerous ways to quickly and easily transfer and store data from phones – either by connecting a device to the handset or using Wi-Fi – so you don’t have to choose what you delete. In addition, backing up your smartphone remotely means that you keep precious files safe, should anything happen to the handset.”

SanDisk offers a range of mobile memory products that allow users to easily expand the space on their phones or offload files so they don’t have to worry about storage limits of the device. Options include:

·         SanDisk iXpand Base – designed to automatically back up your iPhone’s photos, videos, and contacts every time you charge.

·         SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive– offers an easy way to free up space on your iPhone, automatically backs up your camera roll, and even lets you watch popular-format videos straight from the drive.

·         SanDisk Dual Drive Type-C – lets you quickly and easily transfer files between smartphones, tablets and computers.

·         SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick – allows you to wirelessly access your media or transfer large files, stream HD videos and music, and save and share photos and videos to and from your mobile device.

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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