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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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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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