Home » Archives by category » Opinion » Toby Shapshak

Tide turning again in mobile

Tide turning again in mobile

A profound and dramatic thing happened in the computer industry last week. And it wasn’t the introduction of the new iPad Air. But it was, not surprisingly, from Apple, which has proved that most important (and brave) of lessons to the rest of the world: cannibalise yourself before someone else does. Though

Bad omen for Android

Bad omen for Android

Hidden in the debacle that was BlackBerry’s first-round aborted attempt at launching its BlackBerry Messenger chat service onto Android and Apple phones, is a lesson that shows how Android is ultimately doomed unless Google takes drastic action. The highly publicised “porting” last month

Netflix will change SA television

Netflix will change SA television

In May 2011, a remarkable thing happened on the Internet in America. It was the month that Netflix, the streaming video service, overtook pirated content as the largest portion of Internet traffic. Until this moment, digital content was being shared mainly via BitTorrent, but it was all pirated from

SNO for Christmas?

SNO for Christmas?

It’s an old joke from the days when the so-called second national operator (SNO) was announced, oh, somewhere in the mists of time around 2003. This fixed-line competitor to Telkom was supposed to provide competition in landlines. The SNO gag appeared in countless headlines

Moving swiftly on

Moving swiftly on

“I’m in new media,” the 20-something told me when I asked her what she did. “What do you define as new media?” I asked. “You know, Twitter, Facebook, social media,” she replied. It was one of those moments in the Great Change in Media that so many of us old hands must have had when speaking

The mighty Apple has fallen to earth

The mighty Apple has fallen to earth

We can all let out our breath. Apple’s annual hypefest – sometimes called the iPhone launch – is over. As expected, and in accordance with Shapshak’s First Law of Smartphone Upgrades – minted for the previous iPhone launch – the device is thinner with a faster processor and better camera

Dog eat dog in SA mobile

Dog eat dog in SA mobile

Having kick-started the only real price war in the South African cellular market, the “little network that could”, Cell C, is in a tough place. Alan Knott-Craig’s Hail Mary pass to capture his stated intention of 25% of the market appears to be working – at MTN’s expense – for the time being. The recent results from

Start with the Finnish

Start with the Finnish

In a widely expected move, Microsoft is buying Nokia’s handset division, giving it the hardware it needs to compete in the new war of ecosystems against Apple and Google. The only surprising thing is that Microsoft paid more for Skype (US$8,5bn, in May 2011) than it did for Nokia ($7,2bn)

Why Huawei is the next Samsung

Why Huawei is the next Samsung

Rarely are the kings of one era the kings of the next. Just as Nokia and BlackBerry were the kings of the pre-smartphone era, so they were eclipsed by Apple and its fast-follower, Samsung. The same is true of Palm, which reigned in the preceding age of the personal digital assistant

Facebook ups ante with Google

Facebook ups ante with Google

By creating its own interface for Android phones, Facebook is taking the fight to its arch enemy, Google, ironically using search giant’s own cellphone operating system, Android, to do it.
Called Facebook Home, the software is a skin over Android that displays information such as a user’s Facebook feed, along with Facebook applications and messaging