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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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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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