Beyond periphery: Logitech promises a ‘big year’ for South Africa in 2015

Logitech Harmony

Logitech‘s a rarity at the moment — it’s a technology company on the rise. Revenue has increased year on year (pdf), and that trend is set to continue into the next fiscal quarter. It’s looking to become a key player in the South African market, as well as the world, building beyond

But what is the company’s secret and what, more importantly for us, can South African expect from this computer gear giant in the coming years?

Well, it turns out quite a bit in fact. Gearburn sat down with Logitech’s Country Sales Manager for South Africa, Robert Anderson, to find out what Logitech plans to have in store for us.

Research and development driving the local gaming scene

It’s not a secret that Logitech’s gunning for local gamers more than ever before, and the company’s bringing quite the hardware arsenal too. With an increased and vested interest in the local professional gaming leagues, Logitech is able to both boost its presence in the local market, give back to the gaming community and develop some kick-ass products. The company recently announced its sponsorship of InFinity for the 2014 Telkom Gaming Championships, which is quite a local statement.

“From local presence we’re getting involved with the gaming community, sponsoring teams. There’s a lot of things we’re trying to do, not just on the product side,” notes Anderson.

The sponsorships undoubtedly help with research and development though, even if Logitech does have its own in house R&D centre.

“It’s all about experience. Having a good experience with the product. Testing it. Feeling it.”

eSports and its place in South Africa

Speaking of eSports, the local circuit has seen massive growth in a relatively short time frame. For Logitech, this is a scene that harbours big potential growth, but Anderson notes South Africa remains a few steps behind in its adoption as opposed to the international community:

“The international community has taken to e-sports on another level. I don’t think South Africa is quite there yet, but through association with other big brands, we can help grow e-sports going forward.”

“Getting involved with the gamers — that’s what it’s all about. We wanna do newbie things, not just things for the big professionals,” he remarks.

Core business? Sexy hardware

UE Boom Logitech

Logitech’s not exactly throwing all it’s eggs into the eSports basket though. Anderson made clear to note that computer and mobile hardware peripherals remain the company’s “core business.”

“Logitech South Africa is going back to basics. Speakers for us is also something key, you’ll see a big drive on it going forward,” which in all fairness gets me particularly excited as a Logitech speaker fan.

Logitech’s purchase of the US-based, Ultimate Ears, back in 2008 didn’t hurt the company’s audio credibility either, with Anderson noting that South Africans may see some of the subsidiary’s products by “next year.”

These include the UE Boom and the UE Mini Boom, two Bluetooth speakers akin to the Beats Pill that has taken the world both by storm and by swarm.

“Hopefully we’ll see it by the beginning of next year,” Anderson teases, promising other tasty peripherals from Ultimate Ears as well.

Orion Spark and Hyperion Fury

And on the desktop front — the company’s naming scheme might resemble something stolen from Stan Lee’s head, but the science behind the latest keyboard and mouse combo certainly trumps that.

The G910 Orion Spark, coming to South Africa in December, is “really durable stuff,” quips Anderson and he’s not lying. The keyboard, fit with in-house developed “Romer-G Mechanical Switches” is rated for 70 million keystrokes. The keys are also fully RGB adjustable, and have some truly snazzy and useful in-game features including key tracking colour shifts and of course, a host of macro keys and profiles that saves directly to the keyboard.

Perhaps the greatest part of this keyboard is the Arx Controller. Taken from the press release, it’s the company’s version of a second screen:

Arx Control is a new app from Logitech G that works with LGS to enable delivery of a wide range of information on your mobile device including anything from in-game intelligence, to vital system performance stats, to media controls.

According to Anderson, the Orion Spark will set consumers back between R2499 and R2999, depending on the strength of our currency.

Orion Spark Logitech

The Hyperion Fury however is claimed to be the fastest mouse on the planet right now and retails for R799. Fitted with its own 32-bit CPU, the mouse is pretty adept at casual web browsing and app switching as well as daily use — and by daily use, we mean tons of FPS play.

But peripherals are not the only devices on Logitech’s radar.

“We’re trying to create any addons for any device. So that’s where Logitech’s going,” explains Anderson, making special reference to mobile devices.

But one market that’s built on shaky ground, at least in South Africa, is the smart home arena.

Harmony and the smart home world

When asked if Logitech sees potential in the South African smart home market, Anderson gave a rather startling answer:

“From a South African point of view, we’re are not going to tap into that for a while. We just want to fix our core business. We might bring Harmony, but that’s not our strategy now.”

Before you consider sharpening those pitchforks, note that the company may bring a few of the latest Harmony offerings to South African doors “past halfway next year,” speculates Anderson. We can’t wait, but don’t hold your breath too deeply.

“Next year’s going to be a big year. Hopefully everywhere you go you’ll see Logitech.”

What would you like to see from Logitech next year? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image: William Hook via Flickr

Andy Walker, former editor


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