Jargon Explained: GIGABITS vs GIGABYTES; RAM vs ROM & FEATURE-PHONES vs SMART-PHONES


The Teacher & CEO: Mi-Fone Founder Alpesh Patel
The Teacher & CEO: Mi-Fone Founder Alpesh Patel

The guys at Mi-Fone, who pride themselves in manufacturing the continent’s only indigenous mobile brand, have decided to get into some relevant CSR or should I call it “pro-bono” work of educating us about some common but wrongly used and applied tech jargon.

See below the message from Mi-Fone.

“LETS CLARIFY THIS JARGON ONCE AND FOR ALL!

So what is the difference between a Giga-Bit and a Giga-Byte, or a Gb and a GB, and how about an Mb .v. MB or ROM & RAM?

It seems that many companies in the Mobile Telecoms business are using this “slight of hand” to trick their customers in to believing that their products are far more superior than they actually are. This practice is even more rampant in here in Africa.

Mi-Fone, THE FIRST AFRICAN Mobile Devices Brand states that it is their responsibility as an expert in the Telecoms sector to help educate Mass market African consumers about what they are actually buying. Many mobile manufacturers simply put, for example, 4Gb on their specs for memory, knowing that most people will not know the difference between 4Gb and 4GB. However in reality, there is a very big difference (see table below), and this is a way that they will over charge a consumer for their mobile device.

Acronym

Meaning

Detailed Description

Gb .v. GB Giga-Bit .v. Giga-Byte 8Gb = 1GB / 4Gb = 512MB / 2Gb = 256MB / 1Gb = 128MB
Mb .v. MB Mega-Bit .v. Mega-Byte 1000Mb = 1MB / 2048 = 256MB / 4096Mb = 512MB
ROM Read Only Memory ROM is a form of data storage. This type of memory keeps the saved data even if the device power is off.
The word Read-Only identifies it as “read-only memory”, since the reprogramming process is generally infrequent, comparatively slow.
RAM Random Access Memory This is the memory where the software resides while it is running along with the data it is using. RAM is used by both OS and application software. RAM is very fast but volatile, meaning that all information is lost when electric power is cut off. That makes it useful for temporary storage of data that requires fast access.
Normally, devices with RAM also have another type of storage memory (flash memory or a hard drive) that stores the information while the power is off.

There are also some Tier A Mobile Brands who have introduced feature-phones but are marketing them to the mass market African consumers as Smartphones. They are trying to blur this very distinct line to again trick the customer in to paying top dollar for a feature phone.

With the big growth in Data and the need for low cost Data enabled Devices what exactly is the definition of an “Affordable Smart-phone”? Mi-Fone’s definition of this is to be able to empower and enable our customers to comfortably buy an Android Smartphone for below $60. A recent initiative launched by a big Globally recognized Software company and a big Globally recognized Chinese Handset vendor released a product that dubs itself “ 4Afrika” and “Affordable” but with price points at US$150+. This in reality is certainly not affordable for the majority of African consumers.

Mi-Fone’s CEO, Alpesh Patel, goes onto explain “For far too long Foreign vendors have made a lot of profit margins out of the African consumers without actually making the effort to educate its customers. The African consumer needs to be educated in what they are actually getting for their money. Mi-Fone as THE FIRST African Devices brand has a duty and a responsibility to ensure that African consumers do not get misled with technical jargon. We are embarking on a series of Product education initiatives to give African consumers the truth about all these complicated acronyms related to Mobile Devices.”