Gadgets have become the gift of choice for many people, and in 2013 this trend is likely to continue. Sony, Apple, and Google have all launched new gadgets ahead of the Christmas season.
Major retailers in South Africa are already trying to lure consumers to their stores with special offers on TVs, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets.
Online shopping platforms are also gearing up for Christmas season with a wide range of gadgets and technology goods.
Here are some of the gadgets which are likely to put a smile on the face of most people who receive them as presents.
Sony PS4 gaming console
Sony’s latest video game console, the Playstation 4 (PS4), is likely to be a popular choice this Christmas.
The PS4 was first announced at a Sony press conference in February 2013, and will launch in South Africa on 13 December 2013.
The 500GB PS4 will retail in South Africa for R6,299, with prices increasing with bundled games and an additional controller.
iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c
The new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones launched in South Africa on 15 November 2013, and Apple’s latest smartphones are expected to feature on the top of many Christmas wish lists.
The iPhone 5s features an Apple-designed A7 64-bit chip, an 8 megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash and Touch ID. iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver or space gray.
iPhone 5c features an A6 chip, and 8 megapixel iSight camera and better LTE support. The iPhone 5c comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c is available from all the mobile operators in South Africa, starting at under R300 per month.
Pre-paid prices start at R8,499 for the iPhone 5c and R9,999 for the iPhone 5s.
Apple MacBook Air 2013
The latest version of Apple’s Macbook Air will not sell as many units as the iPhone or iPad, but for Apple enthusiasts it will make a great present.
The MacBook Air 2013 sports a 1.7GHz Core i7 processor with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
Pricing starts at R12,999 for the MacBook Air 11-inch: 128GB, and R13,999 for the MacBook Air 13-inch : 128GB.
Kindle Paperwhite 2013
In September this year Amazon introduced its 6th generation Kindle, named the Paperwhite, in Wi-Fi and 3G versions.
The new Kindle sports 2 GB internal storage, of which approximately 1.25 GB is available for user content which can hold up to 1,100 books.
The Kindle Paperwhite 2013 is available from Amazon.com, starting at $139 (around R1,400).
Google Nexus 5
Google unveiled its new Nexus 5 smartphone on 31 October 2013 – the new flagship phone for its Android mobile operating system.
The Nexus 5 is made by LG, and features a 4.95-inch 1080p IPS LCD display, 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 system-on-chip, and 2GB of RAM powered by a 2,300mAh battery.
Nexus 5 pricing starts at $349 (around R3,500), but the device is not available at local retail outlets.
Apple iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina display
Apple officially unveiled the new iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display at an event in San Francisco, California on Tuesday, 22 October 2013.
The latest iPad sports an A7 64-bit chip, full LTE support and is much thinner than its predecessor at just 7.5 millimeters. It comes in space gray and silver, with storage capacity ranging between 16GB and 128GB.
The iPad mini with Retina display sports an A7 chip and a 7.9-inch retina display. It also has LTE support, and comes in space gray and silver.
The iPad Air’s pricing starts at R5,999, while iPad mini with Retina display pricing starts at $399 (no South African prices for the iPad mini have been released yet).
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is one of the most popular smartphones in history, and sports a 13 megapixel back camera and a 5-inch 1080p display.
The Galaxy S4 further features an Exynos 5 Octa processor and includes a 1.8ghz quad-core Cortex-A15 cluster and one 1.2ghz quad-core Cortex-A7 cluster.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (including the LTE model) has a recommended retail price of R8,999, and is available on contract from all the mobile operators.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear
Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 in September 2013. The device has a 5.7-inch full HD display, a 13MP rear camera and 1.9GHz Octa core processor.
Samsung also unveiled its smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, in September. The device feature a 1.63-inch display, 4GB internal storage and a 1.9 megapixel camera. It can be paired with the Note 3.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a recommended retail price of R8,999, and is available on contract from all the large mobile operators. The Galaxy Gear has a recommended price of R4,599.
The Pebble is a smartwatch developed by Pebble Technology, released in 2013 after a successful crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter.
The device has a 1.26-inch screen, and can communicate with an Android or iOS mobile devices using Bluetooth 2.1.
The Pebble watch costs $150 (around R1,500), and ships for free worldwide, including South Africa.
Nexus 7 2013
The Google Nexus 7 tablet, made by Asus, features a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB RAM.
The latest Nexus 7 sports a 1080p HD display with a pixel density of 323ppi. It also has a 1.2MP front camera and a 5MP rear camera.
Official Nexus 7 prices start at $229 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version. Local prices differ significantly based on the retail channel.