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Tablets make a comeback

After a few years of decline, tablets make a recovery, giving a boost to Apple, Huawei and Samsung.

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The latest research from Strategy Analytics showed that several major vendors had very happy holidays in 2018, and Samsung posted its first global quarterly shipment growth since 2014. Apple, Huawei, and Microsoft also had excellent fourth quarters and all three vendors showed growth for the full year as the tablet market shows signs of recovery. Global Tablet market shipments contracted 1% in Q4 2018 and ended the year 6% lower at 173.8 million units.

Eric Smith, director of connected computing at Strategy Analytics said: “The tablet market may be on the road to recovery as several major vendors have strengthened their hand in 2018, cannibalizing market share from weaker players and forcing some to consolidate or leave the market entirely. Lower Slate prices and a more fragmented Detachable 2-in-1 market play into this recovery as vendors are reaching a broader range of computing needs, just as the foldable tablet/phone makes its debut.”

Chirag Upadhyay, senior research analyst at Strategy Analytics said: “We are in the middle of a PC refresh cycle and it is crucial that Detachable 2-in-1 vendors recognize this as a big opportunity to shift the market toward more mobile, portable computing solutions. Better pricing, partnerships, and marketing strategies from leading industry players will be necessary to make this happen as diversity in form factors and OS ecosystems expands. Windows shipments fell 4% year-on-year to 7.1 million units in Q4 2018 from 7.3 million in Q4 2017. Microsoft shipments increased 25% from the previous quarter on high seasonality and as a result, it has retaken its leadership position in Windows Detachable 2-in-1s with the release of the lower cost Surface Go and a refreshed Surface Pro all in the last half of 2018. This is the fourth straight quarter of year-on-year shipment and revenue gains for Microsoft.”

Smith said: “Apple iOS shipments grew 10% year-on-year to 14.5 million units in Q4 2018, pushing its worldwide market share to 26% of the Tablet market. By growing double digits, Apple added 2 percentage points to its market share year-over-year. Apple is attempting to remake the computing market with more mobile iPad Pros for productivity while offering lower priced iPad slates for entertainment. The product mix tilted toward iPad Pro due to the launch of its newest products in that line and boosted ASPs to $463 this quarter from $445 in 2017. Meanwhile, Android shipments fell to 32.9 million units worldwide in Q4 2018, down 6% from 34.9 million a year earlier and up 35% sequentially. Market share fell 3 percentage points year-on-year to 60% as many branded Android vendors find it very difficult to compete on price in the wake of Apple lowering its iPad prices. The slate market is particularly sensitive to price and the Android segment is dominated by Slate models.”

The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices (CCD) service, Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q4 2018 Results, can be found here.

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Jaguar drives dictionary definition

Jaguar is calling for the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries to update their online definition of the word ‘car’

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Jaguar is spearheading a campaign for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Oxford Dictionaries (OxfordDictionaries.com) to change their official online definitions of the word ‘car’.

The I-PACE, Jaguar’s all-electric performance SUV, is the 2019 World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year. However, strictly speaking, the zero-emission vehicle isn’t defined as a car.

The OED, the principal historical dictionary of the English language, defines a ‘car’ in its online dictionary as: ‘a road vehicle powered by a motor (usually an internal combustion engine) designed to carry a driver and a small number of passengers, and usually having two front and two rear wheels, esp. for private, commercial, or leisure use’.

Whereas the current definition of a ‘car’ on Oxford Dictionaries.com, a collection of dictionary websites produced by Oxford University Press (OUP), the publishing house of the University of Oxford, is: ‘A road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.’

To remedy the situation, Jaguar has submitted a formal application to the OED and OxfordDictionaries.com to have the definitions updated to include additional powertrains, including electric vehicles (EV).

David Browne, head of Jaguar Land Rover’s naming committee, said: “A lot of time and thought is put into the name of any new vehicle or technology to ensure it is consumer friendly, so it’s surprising to see that the definition of the car is a little outdated. We are therefore inviting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionaries to update its online classification to reflect the shift from traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) towards more sustainable powertrains.”

The Oxford English Dictionary is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words – past and present – from across the English-speaking world.

Jaguar unveiled the I-PACE, its first all-electric vehicle, last year to deliver sustainable sports car performance, next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technology and five-seat SUV practicality.

Featuring a state-of-the-art 90kWh lithium-ion battery, two Jaguar-designed motors and a bespoke aluminium structure, the I-PACE is capable of 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and a range of up to 470km (WLTP).

While both the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries review the application, Jaguar is encouraging people to get behind the campaign by asking how the word ‘car’ should be defined. Contact Jaguar on TwitterFacebook and Instagram using #RedefineTheCar with your thoughts.

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How Internet blocks visually impaired

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Picture: Amelie-Benoist / Getty Images

A pervasive “digital divide” inhibits blind people from accessing the Internet, according to a study conducted by Nucleus Research for Deque Systems, an accessibility software company specialising in digital equality. This results in visits to websites being abandoned, further resulting in a missed market opportunity for the websites in question.

The study, which conducted in-depth interviews with 73 U.S. adults who are blind or have severe visual impairments, revealed that two-thirds of the Internet transactions initiated by people with vision impairments end in abandonment because the websites they visit aren’t accessible enough. Ninety percent of those surveyed said they regularly call a site’s customer service to report inaccessibility and have no choice but to visit another, more accessible site to make the transaction.

The Nucleus study also scanned hundreds of websites in the e-commerce, news and information and government categories and found that 70 percent had certain “critical blockers” that rendered them inaccessible to visually impaired users.

“Besides the moral dilemma and legal risk, businesses with inaccessible websites are missing a huge revenue opportunity by ignoring an untapped market,” says Preety Kumar, CEO of Deque Systems. “Among internet retailers specifically, two-thirds of the top ten online retailers had serious accessibility issues, meaning they are leaving $6.9 billion in potential North American e-commerce revenues on the table.”

Web accessibility refers to the ability of people with disabilities to independently gather information, complete transactions, or communicate on the Internet. Most visually impaired Internet users rely on assistive technologies like screen readers or screen magnifiers to render sites perceivable and operable. However, these assistive technologies require that websites be built with accessibility in mind and optimized to interface with assistive technology, in order to convey information in an accurate and understandable manner.

Critical accessibility blockers can vary across industries. In e-commerce, problems include issues like missing form and button labels (thereby making forms or the “checkout” button invisible without context). Amazon, Best Buy and Target were found to be accessibility leaders in this space. Additionally, the study found:

  • Eight out of ten news sites had significant accessibility issues.
  • Seven out of ten blind persons reported being unable to access information and services through government websites, including Medicare’s site.
  • Fewer than one in three websites have clear contact information or instructions for blind persons to seek help if they encounter accessibility issues, meaning many have low levels of success in reporting and solving these problems.

“A focus on accessibility needs to be a core part of the website design and development process,” continues Kumar. “Considering accessibility as early as the conception phase, and proactively building and testing sites for accessibility as they move towards production, is significantly more effective than remediating it later, helping organizations save significant time and resources while avoiding unnecessary customer grievances.”

To download the report, visit: https://accessibility.deque.com/nucleus-accessibility-research-2019

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