The Middle East and Africa (MEA) tablet market (which includes 2-in-1 devices) posted a flat growth of 0.3% year on year in Q2 2015, according to the latest figures released by International Data Corporation, with a total of 4.05 million units being shipped in Q2 2015.
Tablets grew 0.1% year on year to total 4 million units. The 2-in-1 market grew 17.6% over the same period to make up the remaining 50,000 units. For the first half of the year, the overall market shrunk 3.2% year on year, which compares unfavourably to the 59.6% year-on-year growth recorded in the corresponding period of 2014.
“The tablet market, which is nearing saturation point in many countries, is being cannibalized by the emergence of smartphones boasting large screen sizes,” says Nakul Dogra, a senior research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC. “The market share of large-screen smartphones is increasing, and the launch of the iPhone 6 plus has only served to spur the trend toward bigger screen sizes in this space.”
Other factors have also contributed to the market’s slowdown. “With crude oil prices at a six-year low, there has been a reduction in government spending, particularly in oil-dependent countries,” says Fouad Rafiq Charakla, program manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC. “This has curtailed government-driven initiatives in several countries across the MEA region, and contractions in the public sector contraction typically have a ripple effect on consumer sentiment, which is also being impacted by currency fluctuations and political insurgencies in some parts of the region.”
In terms of vendor rankings, Samsung continued to lead the tablet market in Q2 2015 with 28.0% market share and a 31.3% increase in shipments year on year. Lenovo placed second with 13.2% market share and year-on-year growth of 27.0%. And despite suffering a 27.3% year-on-year drop in shipments, Apple maintained its third-place ranking with a market share of 11.2%.
The MEA tablet market is expected to post more buoyant year-on-year growth of 6.6% in Q3 2015. IDC forecasts that a total of 16.84 million units will be shipped in 2015 as a whole, equating to a year-on-year growth rate of 0.8%. The Android operating system will witness healthy growth, but will continue to lose share to the iOS and Windows operating systems.
“The growth of Windows will be spurred by greater adoption of tablets and 2-in-1 devices in the commercial segment,” says Dogra. “Businesses will find it easier to incorporate Windows into their existing IT infrastructures and corporate cultures rather than introduce a new OS hub just for tablets, thereby enabling them to run the same OS on both PCs and tablets. We also expect the share of 2-in-1 devices in this market to grow from around 1.2% currently to 3.3% by the end of 2016.”
The education sector will be pivotal to the growth of this form factor. “We are seeing a steady increase in the adoption of 2-in-1 devices in this sector, primarily as a result of government-driven initiatives,” says Charakla. “Education remains a key focus for governments in the region, and the reductions we have seen in budgets have typically not hampered government spending on the sector. For example, Kuwait and Pakistan are expected to see a combined total of 175,000 2-in-1 shipments flood into their education sectors during the second half of 2015.”
Bring your network with you
At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.
In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.
Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.
“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.
The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.
Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.
“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.
He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”
By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.
The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.
Kaspersky moves to Switzerland
As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.
This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.
Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world
The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.
The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.
Relocation of customer data storage and processing
By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.
Relocation of software assembly
Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.
Establishment of the first Transparency Center
The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.
Independent supervision and review
Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.