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The Margin Q3 2017

The Margin Q3 2017

Battle of the brands

I wouldn’t say I’m all about labels, but I must admit I do enjoy buying into a wellcurated brand. That’s probably not an admission the majority of technology editors would make, as we’re supposed to be cynical and jaded, not taken in by the corporate hype. But there’s something quite satisfying, when I’m spending my own cash, about the reassurance that comes with buying products from a company that is at the top of its game. From a professional perspective, I also find it interesting to observe leading brands evolve in the market.

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While there might be some resistance to admitting the airy-fairyness that’s associated with marketing and branding has any real impact in the world of technology, there are certainly brands that generate excitement among customers, partners and the industry in general. If you don’t believe me, just visit a vendor world annual event, where thousands flock, all adorned with rucksacks emblazoned with the vendor's logo, to hear keynotes from tech CEOs, who take to the stage like rock stars.

From an editorial perspective, the feedback I get from my online colleagues often indicates the most read stories tend to feature the biggest names in our industry. So, in this edition of The Margin, we take a somewhat different approach to normal and specifically look at some of the biggest brands in technology.

At the time of going to print, the ten-year anniversary iPhone hadn’t been released yet; it’s arguably one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the tech calendar. In his column, Arthur Goldstuck looks at the rivalry between Apple and Samsung, and how profitability is actually trumping smartphone market hysteria. In our analysis article, I examine how the recent corporate strategies of Dell and HP are so different – one making acquisitive growth, while the other separates to improve core focus – and how these are progressing. How are these moves impacting the local channel?

The In Focus section provides an analysis of the hyperscale cloud providers that are coming to South Africa. We also look at the top global tech companies, by market capitalisation, and scrutinise their strategies. Our Innovation Focus article investigates the potential for high-end solar technology being introduced by the leading brands such as Tesla and Mercedes Benz – will their presence spur adoption by the more affluent households?

Among the other stories in this edition, we compare five of the latest All-in-One PCs to assess what the strengths and weaknesses are, and which is worth investing in. And, in spite of the hype around digitalisation, there does appear to be a stable future for printing technology; our roundtable discusses what that is for the local market? In the first story in our series of articles about digitalising your channel business, we start with the front end – what are the considerations when trying to determine what your business’ digital strategy should be?

As always, I hope you find the stories in these pages interesting and insightful.

Happy reading

Adrian Hinchcliffe
Editor
adrian@itweb.co.za



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