The African PC market sank to new lows in the second quarter of the year amid a slowdown in GDP growth, increasing unemployment, and the strengthening of the dollar against many of the continent’s currencies.
Figures released by International Data Corporation (IDC) show that the market followed up its first-quarter decline of 11.8% with a 26.7% year-on-year downturn in shipments during Q2 2015, the largest slump the market has ever suffered. While IDC believes that the PC market will continue on its downward trajectory into Q3 2015, growth is expected to pick up from the last quarter onward.
“Kenya suffered the continent’s biggest fall of the quarter, with shipments to the country down 54.5% year on year, with Ghana and Algeria following with declines of 40.9% and 40.2%, respectively,” says Joseph Hlongwane, a research analyst at IDC Sub-Saharan Africa. “The significant decrease in PC demand seen in Kenya can attributed to sluggish economic growth brought about by falling exports and a declining production sector that is characterized by slow job creation. The poor performances of the markets in Ghana and Algeria were also caused by a slowdown in economic growth arising from severe energy constraints and unsustainable levels of domestic and external debt.”
South Africa remains the biggest PC market on the continent, accounting for 35.5% of total shipments, but the country followed up its 4.2% year-on-year decline in Q1 2015 with a decrease of 12.8% in Q2 2015. This was largely due to continuing cannibalization of the market by smartphones and tablets as well as shrinking consumer disposable incomes due to the rising prices of necessities such as petrol and food. South Africa’s PC market is expected to continue declining since the current economic challenges are set to remain throughout 2015.
Neighbouring Botswana performed better than expected to post the highest year-on-year growth rate across the whole continent. This growth follows the successful democratic elections that took place in the country in October 2014 and was driven primarily by the commercial sector, which accounted for 87.6% of the total market. Botswana is expected to see ongoing year-on-year growth in the final two quarters of the year.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record
A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.
DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.
The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?
“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.
At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.
It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.
Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.
SA car wins
The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for
The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.
The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.
The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.
“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”
Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.
Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.