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Nissan sticks to Champs League

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Nissan has confirmed a three-year extension to its global partnership with the UEFA Champions League, including the UEFA Super Cup.

Legendary footballer Gareth Bale celebrated the announcement by surprising a group of schoolchildren in Spain and teaching them how to recreate his iconic winning goal from the 2014 final against Club Atlético de Madrid.

The agreement comes ahead of the first game of the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League season and will see the Japanese manufacturer stay as an official partner up to and including the 2020/2021 season. The UEFA Champions League continues to be Nissan’s largest investment in sports sponsorship, which began at the start of the 2014/2015 season.

The UEFA Champions League continues to be the most watched annual sporting competition on the planet, with a cumulative television audience of more than 4-billion a season. The 2017 UEFA Champions League Final attracted a global audience of more than 160-million, more than any other annual sporting event, and it saw Real Madrid C.F. beat Juventus F.C. to record their 12th UEFA Champions League title.

“Innovation that excites is at the core of everything Nissan does and our partnership with the most exciting sports tournament on the planet over the last three years has been key to that,” said Roel de Vries, corporate vice president, global head of marketing for Nissan. “We’re delighted to be extending this partnership for another three seasons, and it will continue to be at the very heart of our global marketing strategy. We’ve seen huge success from the partnership and the additional engagement it has allowed us to have with consumers.”

“Football is the perfect arena to show Nissan’s commitment to performance, not just globally, but here in South Africa too. We’re a sports crazy nation and South Africans are very passionate about football. The UEFA partnership extension will certainly give us the opportunity to speak to fans of the sport and to communicate how intelligent our vehicles are,” said Kabelo Rabotho, Director: Marketing for Nissan South Africa.

Locally, Nissan SA has respected cricketing heroes, Shaun Pollock and Kagiso Rabada, as brand ambassadors, who form part of Nissan’s global partnership with ICC World Cricket. Nissan SA also partnered with Kaya FM for “Kagiso’s Coaching Clinic”, which will see one lucky school in the country benefiting from a coaching session with Rabada.

As part of the new UEFA deal, Nissan will continue to have extensive rights at UEFA Champions League matches as well as access to other exclusive rights, such as the pre-match Center Circle Carriers and post-match UEFA Champions League Goal of the Week, presented by Nissan digital activation.

Commenting on the agreement, Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Events SA Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Nissan after a very successful first cycle. They have become an integral member of the sponsor family and have been invaluable for the promotion of the competition on a global level. The UEFA Champions League brand appeal is growing from strength to strength every single year and its platform continues to provide top brands like Nissan the opportunity to connect and engage with football fans around the globe.”

“Our partnership with the UEFA Champions League has been instrumental in our mission to become the most desirable Asian brand in Europe,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, vice president, marketing, Nissan Europe. “In the coming years, we have an ambitious product plan supported with breakthrough technologies, having the world’s most exciting sporting event as a partner is giving us the perfect platform to emotionally engage with our audience and drive brand preference. I am excited to see how innovative we will be together with UEFA in creating excitement for the fans.”

The UEFA Champions League is another example of Nissan’s dedication to inspiring sports fans, which also includes the International Cricket Council, the City Football Group, the Canadian Football League, the Heisman Trust and the Heisman Trophy.

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Huge appetite for foldable phones – when prices fall

Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have all shown their cards, but consumers are concerned about durability, size, and enhanced use cases, according to Strategy Analytics

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Foldable devices are a long-awaited disrupter in the smartphone market, exciting leading-edge early adopters keen for a bold new type of device. But the acceptance of foldable devices by mainstream segments will depend on the extent to which the current barriers to adoption are addressed.

Major brands have been throwing their foldable bets into the hat to see what the market wants from a foldable, namely how big the screens should be and how the devices should fold. Samsung and Huawei have both designed devices that unfold from smartphones to tablets, each with their own method of how the devices go about folding. Motorola has recently designed a smartphone that folds in half, and it resembles a flip phone.

Assessing consumer desire for foldable smartphones, a new report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics has found that the perceived value of the foldable form does not outweigh the added cost.

Key report findings include:

  • The idea of having a larger-displayed smartphone in a portable size is perceived as valuable to the vast majority of consumers in the UK and the US. But, willingness to pay extra for a foldable device does not align with the desire to purchase one. Manufacturers must understand that there will be low sell-through until costs come down.
  • But as the acceptance for traditional smartphone display sizes continues to increase, so does the imposed friction of trying to use them one-handed. Unless a foldable phone has a wider folded state, entering text when closed is too cumbersome, forcing users to utilize two hands to enter text, when in the opened state.
  • Use cases need to be adequately demonstrated for consumers to fully understand and appreciate the potential for a foldable phone, though their priorities seemed fixed on promoting ‘two devices in one’ equaling a better video viewing experience. Identification and promotion of meaningful new use cases will be vital to success.

Christopher Dodge, Associate Director, UXIP and report author said: “As multitasking will look to be a core selling point for foldable phones, it is imperative that the execution be simplified and intuitive. Our data suggests there are a lot of uncertainties that come with foldable phone ownership, stemming mainly from concerns with durability and size, in addition to concerns over enhanced use cases.

“But our data also shows that when the consumers are able to use a foldable phone in hand, there is a solid reduction of doubt and concern about the concept. This means that the in-store experience may more important than ever in driving awareness, capabilities, and potential use cases.”

Said Paul Brown, Director, UXIP: “The big question is whether the perceived value will outweigh the added cost; and the initial response from consumers is ‘no.’ The ability for foldable displays to resolve real consumer pain-points is, in our view critical to whether these devices will become a niche segment of the smartphone market or the dominant form-factor of the future. Until costs come down, these devices will not take off.”

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New exploit exposes credit cards on mobile phones

Check Point Security has found that handsets using Qualcomm chipsets that hold credit and debit card credentials are at risk of a new exploit.

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Now it’s more important than ever to update your phone.
Check Point security has found a vulnerability in mobile devices that run Android, which allows credit card details to be accessed by hackers.

Mobile operating systems like Android offer a Rich Execution Environment (REE), providing a hugely extensive and versatile runtime environment, which allows apps to run on the device. However, while bringing flexibility and capability, REE leaves devices vulnerable to a wide range of security threats. A Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is designed to reside alongside the REE and provide a safe area on the device to protect assets and to execute trusted code. Qualcomm makes use of a secure virtual processor, which is often referred to as the “secure world”, in comparison to the “non-secure world”, where REE resides. 

But Check Point “fuzzed” a “hole” into this secure world 

In a 4-month research project, Check Point researchers attempted and succeeded to reverse Qualcomm’s “Secure World” operating system. Check Point researchers leveraged a “fuzzing” technique to expose the hole. Fuzz testing (fuzzing) is a quality assurance technique used to discover coding errors and security loopholes in software, operating systems or networks. It involves inputting massive amounts of random data, called fuzz, to the test subject in an attempt to make it crash.

Check Point implemented a custom-made fuzzing tool, which tested trusted code on Samsung, LG, and Motorola devices. Through fuzzing, Check Point found 4 vulnerabilities in trusted code implemented by Samsung (including S10), 1 in Motorola, 1 in LG, but all code sourced by Qualcomm itself. To address the vulnerability, the runtime of Android needs to be protected from both attackers and users. This is typically achieved by moving the secure storage software to a hardware-supported TEE.

Check Point Research disclosed its findings directly to the companies and gave them time to patch vulnerabilities. Samsung patched three vulnerabilities and LG patched one. Motorola and Qualcomm responded, but have yet to provide a patch, and there is no confirmation of a release date yet.

Check Point Research has urged mobile phone users to stay vigilant and check their credit and debit card providers for any unusual activity. In the meantime, they are working with the vendors mentioned to issue patches.

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