The heads of South Africa’s telecommunications giants have the choice of any smartphone on the market – irrespective of money or even local availability.
To establish the tastes of the telecoms bigwigs in the country, MyBroadband asked the CEOs of the country’s top players which smartphones they use.
What emerged is that South African telecommunications executives prefer a wide range of devices, including iPhones, Android and BlackBerry phones.
Cell C CEO Jose dos Santos’ weapon of choice is an iPhone 5s, which fits in well with his ‘all things Apple’ computing products.
Neotel CEO Sunil Joshi is using the Android-based Samsung S4 Mini Dual SIM phone.
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko is currently using two phones – a BlackBerry and a Samsung Galaxy S4.
Telkom Mobile managing director Attila Vitai said that he likes the HTC One, but is currently trying out the Apple iPhone 5.
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub is using both Android and Apple smartphones – the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5s.
MTN SA CEO Zunaid Bulbulia is using the HTC One, which he believes is the best phone on the market.
What do these CEOs know anyway – ask the techies!
MyBroadband also asked some of the industry’s prominent techies which smartphones they prefer, and these results differed from that of the CEOs.
Vodacom’s head of innovation, Jannie van Zyl, said that the Nokia Lumia 920 is his smartphone of choice – mainly because of “Windows 8 running on rock-solid hardware”.
“Windows 8 is currently the most ‘modern’ phone OS in my opinion. Its ‘human-centric’ approach is much more intuitive than the ‘app-centric’ approach we see with IOS and Android,” said van Zyl.
He admitted that he still uses an iPad Air as no Windows 8 tablet can yet beat the Apple hardware’s weight and battery life.
“I just have to live with the inevitable IOS software crashes,” said van Zyl. “Who’d have thought we’d get to the day where Microsoft is more stable than Apple”.
MyBroadband journalist Jan Vermeulen is using a Nexus 5, explaining that the low price and the stock Android OS with direct updates from Google made it an easy choice for him.
Dominic White, CTO at information security firm SensePost, said that he uses an iPhone because iOS strikes him as a more secure platform from an ecosystem perspective.
Etienne Stalmans, a lead security analyst at SensePost that works on mobile security matters said he uses a Samsung Galaxy S4, but he has rooted it and installed CyanogenMod 11.
He said that he likes the device and the fact that he can review the platform’s code himself, but if he had to choose a particular platform he would also definitely go for iOS.
Stalmans said that the problem with Android from a security perspective is its large, fragmented ecosystem. Every manufacturer has its own version of Android on their devices, and there is no central control over the platform like Apple has over iOS.