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Tablets drag down Africa computer sales

HP maintains its position at the top of the PC leader board, while Huawei takes the lead in tablets

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The Middle East and Africa (MEA) personal computing devices (PCD) market, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations, and tablets, declined 9.1% year on year in Q2 2019, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research and consulting firm’s Quarterly PCD Tracker shows that a total of 5.1 million units were shipped during the quarter.

“As with previous quarters, the decline primarily rooted from tablets,” says Fouad Charakla, IDC’s senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. “While tablets still account for the highest volume share of all PCD categories, they are continuing to lose popularity at a steady pace. Weakening consumer demand was the main cause of the overall slowdown seen in the region.”

In terms of geography, IDC’s research shows that the biggest decline in the MEA PCD market was seen in the Rest of Middle East (RoME) sub-region, of which Iran accounts for the highest volumes. “U.S. sanctions against Iran continue to inhibit shipments into the country,” says Charakla. “At the same time, Turkey suffered a significant year-on-year decline in PCD shipments, caused by the Turkish lira remaining weak against the U.S. dollar. Consequently, Turkey is no longer the largest single market in MEA, losing its place to Saudi Arabia, which was the biggest contributor of growth in the region during Q2 2019. A number of large-scale deliveries into the education sectors of the UAE, Rwanda, and Ethiopia were also seen during the quarter.”

The top three vendors in the MEA PC market maintained their respective positions in Q2 2019. HP suffered a year-on-year in shipments but was largely able to retain its market share, while both Lenovo and Dell enjoyed some year-on-year unit growth that saw them increase their shares.

Middle East & Africa PC Market Vendor Shares – Q2 2018 vs. Q2 2019
CompanyQ2 2018Q2 2019
HP Inc.31.9%31.8%
Lenovo18.9%22.9%
Dell15.5%16.5%
Others33.7%28.8%

In the tablet space, Huawei managed to leapfrog into top spot in Q2 2019 following an aggressive push in Saudi Arabia. Samsung and Apple both experienced a year-on-year decline in shipments to rank second and third, respectively.

Middle East & Africa Tablet Market Vendor Shares – Q2 2018 vs. Q2 2019
CompanyQ2 2018Q2 2019
Huawei18.9%21.9%
Samsung21.0%17.2%
Apple9.1%8.6%
Others50.9%52.2%

With a number of significant initiatives ongoing in the commercial space, and particularly in the public sector, IDC has revised its PCD market outlook further upwards. As a result, the market is anticipated to see year-on-year growth in Q3 2019, the first time this will have happened since Q4 2014.

“A large tablet deal expected to be delivered into the government sector of Kenya will act as one of the primary drivers of this growth,” says Charakla. “At the same time, although Turkey is still gradually recovering from the significant slowdown experienced over the past several quarters due to the weakening of the Turkish Lira, it is expected to perform significantly better year on year in Q3 2019, since Q3 2018 was when the slowdown was undergoing one of its worst periods.”

“Looking at PCs in isolation (excluding tablets), we expect to see some growth in commercial demand for 2019 as a whole across several countries,” continues Charakla. “With consumer demand continuing to falter, this will see 2019 become the first year for almost a decade in the MEA region where commercial deliveries surpass shipments for the consumer segment.”

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Showmax launches half-price mobile streaming service

A new streaming product designed specifically for Africa, featuring TV series as well as African content and live sport, is aimed at filling the gap in subscription video on demand services

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The subscription video on demand (SVoD) model, which originated in the USA, spread rapidly in countries where uncapped broadband is affordable and widely available. However, because the model also relies on consumers being comfortable with transacting online and having ready access to credit cards, it has barely scratched the surface across Africa.

On top of that, smartphones are often the only only form of Internet access across Africa, and none of the popular SVoD services have been designed for the format.

Showmax says it plans to change this with the launch of a new mobile plan that costs 50% of the standard Showmax package but still features 100% of the same video content. Showmax is set apart by a combination of four pillars: hit African content, exclusive international series, topkids’ shows, and live sport, including weekly matches from the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, and Spain’s La Liga.

Showmax says the new plan is aimed at consumers who only use smartphones and tablets to watch video content. Video resolution peaks at standard definition to help reduce data consumption. As it is a product aimed at individuals, only one concurrent stream is included in the plan. As with the regular service, it is also available for a 14-day free trial.

“This is all about an African service developing a solution that meets the needs of African consumers,” saus Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice. “Customer feedback consistently points to local content and sport as some of the things that people value most from Showmax. That’s of course on top of the international series, movies, and kids’ shows that are our bread and butter. With all of that content now available in a product designed specifically for mobile usage, we’re doing something no other service can offer.

“On top of that, with groundbreaking deals like our new offer with Vodacom in South Africa, we solve the credit card issue through add-to-bill payment and the data issue by including data directly in the package. We’re looking to launch similar offers in Kenya and Nigeria soon.”

Both the standard and mobile plans include live sport, sport magazine shows and sport documentaries. The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was streamed live on Showmax earlier this month, and the following is a selection of some of the football due to be live-streamed in November:

22 November: Levante vs Mallorca (La Liga)

23 November: Arsenal vs Southampton (Premier League)

24 November: Bologna vs Parma (Serie A)

25 November: Aston Villa vs Newcastle United (Premier League)

29 November: Celta Vigo vs Valladolid (La Liga)

30 November: Fiorentina vs Lecce (Serie A)

30 November: Chelsea vs West Ham United (Premier League)

Showmax’s mobile plan is currently available in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. 

Comparison of Showmax plans:

Mobile Standard
Price per monthR49 / N1450 / KSh 375R99 / N2900 / KSh 750
Watch on smartphone or tabletYesYes
Watch on smart TV and computerNoYes
HD streamingNoYes
TV series, movies, kids’ showsYesYes
SportYesYes
Concurrent streams12
Cancel anytimeYesYes
14-day free trialYesYes
Chromecast and AirPlayNoYes
Number of devicesOne registered device5 devices can be registered, with 2 able to stream at the same time

For a 14-day free trial, visit www.showmax.com

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Online series wins SA’s Journalist of the Year award

A series of stories on gang warfare in Hanover Park earned Tammy Petersen of News24 the ultimate prize in South African journalism. Here are all the winners of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards.

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At the 18th edition of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards held at Vodacom World earlier tonight, News24’s Tammy Petersen took top honours and the R100,000 grand prize as national winner for her body of work on a gang war series entitled When you live in Hanover Park, you know death. Petersen’s submission was one of over 1,000 entries received from around the country across 12 categories – Investigative, Opinion, Lifestyle, Photography, Sport, Economics, Politics, CSI, Live reporting/ breaking news, Data Journalism, Multi-platform and the Young Journalist of the Year Award. This year’s theme – Connect the Dots – pays tribute to the best-of-the-best of those entries.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group says: “This year has seen extraordinary entries to the 18th Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. Not all the stories that are national winners were about huge events but also showed the importance of telling the stories of ordinary people. In line with our theme, the dots were indeed connected, and we congratulate all the winners.”

Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher says: “The quality of entries has convinced the judges once again that our industry is in good hands, as far as journalism is concerned, despite the many problems that have beset the industry in recent times. Judging from the entries, South African journalists are determined to fly the flag high for a free, independent, and vigorous media, which augurs well for our democracy. As judges, we can only salute all the entrants for the great work that they submitted. In the end, our industry is probably the biggest winner.”

Judges for this year’s awards are: Ryland Fisher (convenor), Jermaine Craig, Arthur Goldstuck, Albe Grobbelaar, Franz Kruger, Patricia McCracken, Mapi Mhlangu, Collin Nxumalo, Mary Papayya, and Obed Zilwa.

Visit the next page for the full list of winners and their citations.

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