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First fall for tablet sales in Middle East and Africa

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After years of positive growth, tablet sales have shown a year-on-year decline in the first quarter of 2015 in the MEA region.|After years of positive growth, tablet sales have shown a year-on-year decline in the first quarter of 2015 in the MEA region.

After years of posting successive gains, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) tablet market recorded its first ever year-on-year decline in Q1 2015, with shipments to the region declining 5.8% to 3.83 million units. That’s according to the latest market insights announced today by International Data Corporation (IDC), which blamed the poor performance on a sharp decline in the region’s biggest tablet market, Turkey, where shipments almost halved when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014.

“The major reason behind the decline of the Turkish market was the discontinuation of deliveries for the massive FATIH education project, which had a huge impact on commercial demand for tablets in the country during Q1,” says Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC. “Currency fluctuations in Turkey, high inventory levels carried over from Q4 2014, and some saturation in the tablet market also had a negative impact on shipments targeted at the consumer segment.”

It should be noted that these latter three factors were responsible for slowing the market’s performance in other key parts of the region as well. Meanwhile, the devaluation of certain major international currencies, such as the euro and ruble, has also negatively impacted tablet demand in MEA as a result of reduced international trade and tourism from the affected regions.

Samsung continued to lead the MEA tablet market in terms of shipments, despite suffering a decline of 5.5% year on year to total 920,000 units. Lenovo overtook Apple into second place for the first time, growing almost 96.4% year on year after shipping 520,000 units. Third-placed Apple continued to suffer, posting a sharp decline of 43.0% to total 430,000 units. In fourth place, Huawei was the fastest growing major vendor in MEA, shipping 240,000 units for a 280.3% year-on-year growth rate. Turkish vendor Casper posted substantial growth of 131.2% to rank fifth overall with 150,000 units.

The year 2015 as a whole will see positive growth, with shipments increasing 5.8% year on year to total 17.66 million units. However, this represents a stark slowdown from the overall growth of 41.6% seen in 2014. “The reduction in global oil prices has caused a slowdown in government-driven initiatives in some of the region’s oil-producing countries, negatively impacting demand for tablet devices,” says Charakla. “The decline in government spending has also had a ripple effect on other sectors across the region, and has also impacted demand from the consumer segment.”

In the longer run, the tablet market is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace over the coming years, cannibalizing some of the demand that currently exists for personal computers. However, with IDC expecting shipments to increase 7.0% and 7.9%, respectively, in 2016 and 2017, the market’s growth will be greatly reduced from the stellar rates experienced in the recent past. It should also be noted that the decline that has been seen in the tablet market’s average selling price in recent times will slowdown significantly over the coming years.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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