During an exclusive media briefing at the Intel Solutions Summit 2015 (ISS 2015) Intel’s Christian Morales, VP and General Manager for Europe, Middle East, Africa revealed that Intel is not only looking to expand in South Africa, but the company is also looking at potentially opening an office within Rwanda. Morales added that: “Intel is placing a large focus on the African continent.”
Morales is responsible for Intel product sales and marketing in the EMEA region. Morales has held senior international management roles in sales, channel operations and general management. He brings extensive experience in marketing and building brand awareness for new product segments, as well as a strong background in expanding and driving Intel’s business into new and emerging markets.
Prior to this role, Morales was Intel’s vice president of the Sales and Marketing Group and co-general manager of Asia Pacific responsible for implementing Intel’s strategies in Asia. He was also responsible for championing Intel’s worldwide emerging markets strategy.
According to Morales: “In Africa, Intel is placing a strong focus on Education, Internet of Things, Cloud, and Data Centres.” Morales added that: ” What excites me about Africa is its youthful exuberance and its strong focus on technology.” According to Morales, Africa’s tech driven mind set allows Intel a great opportunity to invest within the continent.
Back in 2014, Intel entered into an agreement with business incubator, iHub, to foster and grow the developer community in Africa through targeted investments in mobile app development, online developer resources, university training programs, device seeding programs and expansion of technology hubs. According to Morales: “Intel has not stopped there.”
According to Morales, Intel also introduced the Yolo smartphone to the Kenyan market. Morales added that Kenya was the first market in Africa to get the device, which lead to the smartphone launch becoming a massive success within the country. According to Morales: “A success like the Yolo smartphone allows Intel to develop, manufacture and bring in more and more devices into the African market.”
In Africa, Intel is well known for its processors; however, Morales believes that, according to forecasts, over the next 4-5 years Africa will have over 50 million active desktop PCs. According to Morales, this will essentially make Africa one of the largest regions in the world utilising the desktop PC to access the internet, play games, and gain access to a variety of entertainment services. “This makes Africa a key market for Intel to invest in,” Morales added.
As Intel is set to place a large focus on Africa, the company is currently preparing to launch its latest innovation into the continent, the Intel Compute Stick.
During the exclusive media briefing, Laura Crone, Intel’s VP of the Client Computing Group (CCG) and general manager of Channel Platforms and Operations at Intel Corporation stated that: “We see a great opportunity within the African continent with the Intel Compute Stick. We predict that the device will not just be used for basic computing, but also be used to run digital signage, Kiosks as well as be used in schools that may lack computing facilities.”
The Intel Compute Stick is expected to arrive in Africa in August 2015 and will be preloaded with either Linux or Windows 8.1. Crone added that Intel has been asked to do an Android version of the device, but this is still in the pipeline and will depend on interest in the device.
According to John Deatherage, Director of Marketing for Intel’s Channel, Innovation, and Solutions division: “The current version of the Intel Compute Stick will also have the processing power to run Windows 10. Deatheage noted that: “Once Microsoft moves over to Windows 10, Intel will pre-install Windows 10 onto the device. For those looking to upgrade from Windows 8.1 with Bing to Windows 10, on their current device, there will be upgrade options available from Microsoft in Africa.”
Moving away from the African focus, ISS 2015 revealed a wealth of information. According to PCR Online, the following stats were revealed:
– In 2014, Intel sold 46 million tablets, 277.4 million PCs, 16.9 million and 17.5 million servers, with overall revenue hitting $55.9 billion.
– SSDs saw a 20 per cent growth, whereas the Internet of Things experienced a 19 per cent growth throughout 2014.
– Intel’s LOEM market grew by 56 per cent in EMEA and new tablet LOEM market increased by 50 per cent last year.
– Compared to four years ago, Intel’s PC install base has evolved significantly with twice the battery life, nine times faster wake up time, graphics are 12-times better and video content speed has increased eight fold.
– Intel’s mission is to utilise the power of Moore’s Law to bring smart, connected devices to every person on earth.