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Lenovo tablet share leaps

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As outside political-economic forces weigh on its main competitor Huawei, Strategy Analytics reports Lenovo tablet shipments grew 8% year-on-year to 2.5 million units and its market share rose 0.9 percentage points to 5.2% globally in Q4 2019. Huawei felt pressure from the US-China trade war while Amazon had some hangover from its blockbuster Prime Day results, pulling demand forward from this holiday quarter. This jockeying of fortunes is indicative of a tablet market still in consolidation, as the market shrank -7% in 2019 from 2018 levels.

The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices (CCD) service, Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q4 2019 Results can be found here: https://www.strategyanalytics.com/access-services/devices/tablets-and-pcs/connected-computing-devices/market-data/report-detail/preliminary-global-tablet-shipments-and-market-share-q4-2019-results-040220

Lenovo grew its business in every region outside of Asia Pacific due to Huawei’s heavy focus on China and edging out many competitors there. Lenovo maintains a good mix of low-cost Android tablets to complement its high and mid-tier Windows Detachable 2-in-1s but its Android business faces the same strong headwinds that all other major vendors face. The trade restrictions on Huawei have positively impacted Lenovo’s tablet business but there are glimmers of hope in its products, like the new Smart Tab M10 and P10 models, which double as Alexa-enabled smart displays with a dock bundled in the box. Bold innovations like the ThinkPad X1 Fold foldable PC/Tablet coming in mid-2020 will also set Lenovo apart from its competition.

Eric Smith, Director – Connected Computing says, “A massive shift has taken place for Huawei to focus on the domestic Chinese market and sell older inventory in EMEA and Asia (excluding China). This pattern will intensify until the China-US trade war reaches detente and while there have been positive signs with the Phase 1 trade deal signed last month, tariffs and US component/software supply restrictions are still in place, and will likely will be until after the November 2020 US presidential election.”

Chirag Upadhyay, Senior Research Analyst says, “The commercial refresh has been a disappointing period for Detachables as Windows mobile computing demand has favored thin-and-light notebooks in the premium tier. Adding to this trouble, most Windows Detachable 2-in-1 vendors are exclusively targeting the premium tier for enterprise users to make higher profits but a crowded market prevents all vendors from growing at once, especially now that Apple is competing strongly with two iPad Pro models and an iPad Air (with keyboard) in this price tier. Even with Apple’s new-found competitive strength, the company’s tablet shipments fell -7% in Q4 2019 as iPad Pro demand fell sharply in the holiday quarter.”

Exhibit 1: Most Major Tablet Brands Faced Lower Shipments in Q4 20191

Global Tablet Shipments by Vendor (Preliminary Results, Millions of Units)

VendorQ4 ’192019Q4 ’182018
Apple13.544.3  14.5 44.9  
Samsung7.0 
21.8
7.5 23.1
Amazon4.9 
15.2
5.4 11.6
Huawei4.314.4 4.6 15.4  
Lenovo2.58.5 2.3 8.8
Others16.555.9  20.0 69.3
Totals48.6
160.2  

54.4
 
173.1

Source: Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices service

1 All figures are rounded

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TikTok takes on COVID-19

The fastest growing social media platform in the world has also become an epicenter of public education about the coronavirus, attracting more than 30-billion views, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The young have been getting a bad rap for wanting to party on while COVID-19 sends the world into lockdown. But a different movie is playing itself out on the social platform that is growing fastest among teenagers: TikTok.

Awareness campaigns by TikTok itself, collaboration with the International Red Cross, and spontaneous videos made by TikTok creators have combined into a barrage of information, education, awareness and social consciousness around the coronavirus.

Both globally and in South Africa, TikTok’s COVID-19 campaigns have gone viral.

The local #HayiCorona challenge, designed to remind people not to touch their face and wash hands regularly, has passed 1.5-million views. The TikTok collaboration with the International Red Cross, the #WashingHands challenge, has passed 12.6-million views.

One of the best-known participants in these challenges is the past year’s icon of South African talent, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, took up the global challenge with a 20-second hand-washing video. It put together a performance that brings tremendous energy to what can be a clichéd message, and ends with a punt for the Department of Health’s WhatsApp information service. The video can be viewed below.

@ndlovuyouthchoir

Our community has limited access to running water. Follow these instructions on how to safely wash your hands using a bucket. ##coronavirus##washinghands

♬ original sound – ndlovuyouthchoir

“On a global scale, TikTok also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that, while creators are still having fun and expressing themselves on the platform, they stay informed with COVID-19 information coming from a reliable source,” a TikTok spokesperson told us. “Through the partnership, the WHO has created an informational page on TikTok that offers information to curb the spread of the coronavirus as well as dispelling myths.”

The page can be viewed at https://vm.tiktok.com/GHTEGf

TikTok has hosted a number of livestreams with WHO experts, attracting users from more than 70 countries, tuning in for live question and answer sessions. It has also introduced labels on coronavirus-related videos, to point users to trusted information. Resources are also offered directly in the app and in a dedicated COVID-19 section of TikTok’s Safety Center, at https://www.tiktok.com/safety/resources/covid-19.

If users simply want to explore videos on the topic, they can search via the #coronavirus hashtag, or click on https://vm.tiktok.com/swKbn4. The hashtag has had an astonishing 33.8-billion views, indicating the scale of activity and interest around the topic on the platform.

Read more on the next page about how South Africans have embraced the campaign.

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On World Backup Day: backup, backup, backup

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It was World Backup Day yesterday, 31 March, at a time when business continuity is threatened as never before. That makes calls for protecting email and defending against ransomware all the more urgent.

The global coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief many organisations’ lack of business continuity plans and policies. With more than two billion people around the globe in forced lockdown in wide-ranging government efforts to stem the tide of infections, an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.

This interruption to the normal way of work is precisely what an effective and resilient business continuity strategy should plan for, says Heino Gevers, cybersecurity specialist at Mimecast

“Companies need uninterrupted access to critical business applications during times of disruption, including safe and secure web and email access for workers that are now operating outside the normal perimeters of the organisation,” he says. “In addition, comprehensive backup and archiving solutions should be ready to restore access to critical business applications should there be any unplanned downtime to ensure continuity until the crisis passes.”

According to Gevers, the current global crisis is likely to push business continuity up the list of priorities for many organisations that have been disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus.

“Organisations are facing new challenges to their productivity; for example in terms of technical support. If a remote user is infected with malware or ransomware, how does the IT team restore that device or do any remediation without being able to physically access it?”

Gevers advises that organisations implement tools that enhances the data protection capabilities of commonly-used tools such as Office365 and can leverage archived data to provide quick recovery of email data in the event of accidental loss, malicious attacks or technical failure. 

“As adoption of cloud-based business applications grow in the wake of forced lockdowns around the globe, companies need to ensure they have the tools to recover in any situation,” he says. “This includes a data management strategy that combines archiving, backup and data protection capabilities to allow for quick restoration of critical systems and applications in the event of disruption.”

Jasmit Sagoo, head of technology at Veritas for the United Kingdom and Ireland, warns that this is a golden age for cybercriminals looking for ransomware opportunities.

“As the global cost of ransomware continues to grow, this World Backup Day, Veritas is saying: ‘don’t pay up, back up!’,” he says. “Ransomware is said to generate an estimated annual revenue of $1 billion a year, and companies who are not consistent in backing up their data are allowing criminals to line their pockets.

“Ransomware attacks exist only because some businesses can’t survive unless the hackers give them back their data.  So, the key to survival is removing that reliance and being able to regain access to data, without engaging with the cybercriminals.  The best way to do that is with a sound backup strategy.

“Sagoo advises organisations to create isolated, offline backup copies of their data to keep it out of reach of any attackers.  They then need to proactively monitor and restrict backup credentials, while running backups frequently to shrink the risk of potential data loss. Businesses should also test and retest their ransomware defences regularly.

“Ransomware strikes without warning and it doesn’t discriminate between its targets – it can happen to any organisation, large or small. Despite their best efforts, most companies will fall to at least one attack. What distinguishes one victim from another is the ability to bounce back, which ultimately depends on its backup strategy.

“When ransomware hits, organisations that aren’t prepared often feel helpless to do anything other than to submit to their attacker’s demands.   That’s why we’re urging all businesses to use World Backup Day as a catalyst to get ahead of the situation and get their data protected.”

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