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All posts tagged "emerging markets"

  • How vocal apps are reaching illiterate populations in emerging markets

    Illiteracy has been dramatically decreasing over the 20th century, but there still are large areas of the world where reading and writing skills are scarce, preventing further development, as well as basic communications between organisations and individuals. It's no surprise that emerging markets are places where illiteracy can still be high. In countries of Sub-Saharan Africa such as Chad or Mali, a small third of the population is able to read and write. In South Asia too, countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh just over half of the populations are literate. Surprisingly, even in the US, a significant 14% of the...

  • A case for successful startup clones: it’s all about adapting and executing

    Some bumper sticker wisdom: “You shouldn’t really worry when the competition’s trying to copy you, you should worry when they’re not.” You’ve seen them, right? The so-called Facebooks or Amazons of Africa. Notoriously known as clones, emerging markets have their fair share of them, each with its own degree of success and unique challenges. If you think about it, isn’t it only natural for a working solution to be applied elsewhere? Are they then as bad as their reputation holds them to be? Many of these startups initially start off with a borrowed idea, and by adapting it to its local...

  • Press start: global games market to score $93-billion in 2013

    All the gold coins Mario has collected over the years couldn't compare to the success of the gaming industry. When 2013 is done and dusted, cumulative gaming sales will reach US$93-billion, said research firm Gartner today. Skip forward to 2015 and the gaming market could be worth US$111-billion across all console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games. The player with the highest score? It's the mobile gaming segment, which is set to double from US$13.2-billion to US$22-billion by 2015. Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, knows his gaming. "As mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) continue to grow, the mobile game category will show...

  • Micro-finance: the fuel or fall of entrepreneurship in emerging markets?

    It’s no easy feat becoming an entrepreneur in emerging markets, especially since one’s entrepreneurial potential is so often stunted by the onerous bureaucratic processes involved in setting up a business and raising capital. For this reason, the advent of micro-finance has ignited hopes that micro-entrepreneurs would now have one less obstacle in their way. But has micro-finance really lived up to these expectations? A report compiled by the World Bank called Financing Businesses in Africa paints an interesting and unexpected story on the matter. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Free internet can fix education issues in developing countries [T4A]

    There are many issues facing the emerging markets and most will argue that technology and access to the internet can help solve those problems. "There is an internet revolution underway in parts of the world and some can not see it," says Derek Kopke, the Executive Vice President, International Business Development for DataWind, at this year's Tech4Africa conference. If you haven't heard of DataWind, you need to get out from under your rock. The company is responsible for the hugely popular Aakash tablets in India. The way Kopke sees it, education is one of the biggest problems facing the developing...

  • It looks like BlackBerry has finally blown it

    I am an ardent fan of BlackBerry and its latest offerings, based on BlackBerry OS 10, were some of the easiest to use (and smartest) of the current batch of smartphones. Even before the recent job cuts and the pending acquisition, BlackBerry have had a tough ride the past few years. Its older OS, BB7, was way overdue for a replacement and OS 10 took three years too long to come to market. BlackBerry experienced a number of system failures that left its faithfully out of touch for far too long, and to compound that, BlackBerry carried on as...

  • Tablets set to explode in emerging markets as global PC sales keep falling

    Tablets use is set to rapidly escalate in emerging markets as their hunger for smart connected devices continues to grow. According to tech research company IDC, the smart connected device volume in emerging markets grew by 41.3% in 2012 with the tablet volume growing by 111.3% and smartphone volume by 69.7% year on year. Desktop and portable PC shipments meanwhile shrank by 3.8% and 0.8% respectively. The upward growth of tablets and smartphones in emerging markets is likely being driven by the increasing availability of affordable devices among populations with increasing amounts of disposable income. That kind of growth...

  • Meet Siri’s relative Lola, she’s smarter and likes banking

    So you're an iPhone 4S user. Your love for Apple's voice assistant Siri obviously knows no bounds. You'd never cheat on her right? What if we introduced you to her more intelligent, financially savvy cousin? Her name's Lola and Spain's second largest bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) reckons she could save it a ton in staffing costs. The voice assistant was built by the team behind Siri and, according to Technology...

  • The future of radio is online, device-driven and in your car

    A recent survey in the US by TargetSpot, a digtal audio network, found an increase in tablet ownership of nearly 87%, combined with a smartphone take-up increase of 22%. As the world fast grabs hold of new devices to make their lives more connected, so our ways of delivering and receiving everyday content is being reshaped. Radio is but one of these everyday concepts that are being delivered in a new and fresh way. It's a concept that is rapidly changing though, particularly in emerging markets like South Africa. Let me ask you a question. When did you last hear...

  • 4 reasons big-time VCs are investing in emerging markets

    With technological advancements in developing nations speeding the growth rate of high impact tech start-ups, many American venture capital firms are now looking further afield to expand their investment portfolios. But what is driving this trend? 1. Lack of local funding There’s certainly no shortage of innovative ideas coming out of emerging market countries. Africa, China, Russia and many others are growing steadily, and are producing an ever-increasing number of tech success stories, many with an extensive global reach. However, the potential for innovation in these countries has been historically hampered by a lack of access to funding, based on an entrenched...

  • Meet 50 of the most influential political tweeters in emerging markets

    Social media in emerging markets is poised in a delicate position. A number of governments are trying to clampdown on various platforms, all while they’re experiencing phenomenal growth. Given this situation, it’s worthwhile seeing who the most influential political tweeters in some of the biggest emerging market countries are. It is they, after all, who drive debate and help form the national political opinion. Using research from PR and communications firm Burson-Masteller and social influence measuring tool Klout, we can get some idea. It should be noted that there are members of the web community who aren't exactly what you’d call...

  • 10 Big tech trends for the next decade

    The world is changing and tech is changing with it. Over the next 10 years the global tech market will be completely redefined as people's values and expectations evolve. These new expectations and values will shaped by global economics, technology itself, and social change. How this change takes place will be defined by what people value enough to pay for, how their values are changing, and how technology and service providers can respond to this profitably. Research company Gartner has identified 10 big trends for the next decade that will change the way we all view tech. 1....

  • Are the BRICS building legal barriers to social media?

    Are emerging market countries, notably the BRICS, clamping down on internet freedoms? Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vincent Cerf warned last year of an "authoritarian" trend particularly among certain emerging market countries. We know about China. Western social networks are often blocked by a series of filters colloquially called the Great Firewall of China. Authorities in the Asian superpower are also clamping down on native social networks such as the incredibly popular microblogging site Sina Weibo. Most recently, China passed legislation requiring social networks to verify their user accounts, purportedly in an attempt to put a halt...

  • Emerging markets tech expected to generate over $1-trillion in 2012

    Emerging markets are where it’s at when it comes to tech. They’re where the next billion internet users will come from and some even reckon that the next wave of world-changing startups will come from within them. Small wonder then that they’re set generate over US$1-trillion in IT spend this year. According to tech research company Gartner, emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe still have thriving tech scenes, despite economic deceleration and financial uncertainty in mature markets. Luis Anavitarte, research vice president and head of emerging markets research at...

  • China is winning with staggering internet stats

    With a population close to 1.3-billion (yes, that's a 'B'); it's hardly surprising that Chinese internet statistics are staggeringly high. In fact, in 2011 almost half of all mobile subscriptions and two-thirds of the internet users in the six Asia-Pacific countries that were surveyed by Euromonitor International were from China. But how does this compare to the Western world and what impact does this have? While China's population does make it easy to achieve these kinds of internet user and mobile subscription numbers, it must be said that China has invested a tremendous amount in infrastructure. In a Forrester Research...