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Holiday Promotions Jerk up EMEA Q4 PC Shipment to 2.0% – IDC



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PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) reached 25.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 2.0% increase year on year, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

Strong consumer demand during the holiday season helped keep the market at positive levels for the third consecutive quarter, albeit modest and patchy across the region, leading to 5.5% growth for 2014 with 93.3 million PCs shipped in EMEA.

Once again, there were strong regional differences in EMEA.

Western Europe continued to drive growth with shipments increasing 10.7%. In line with expectations, Central and Eastern Europe contracted 18.7%.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 2.6%.

The market was primarily driven by healthy consumer shipments in Western Europe. Vendors continued to stock up ahead of Christmas and January promotion sales, and before the February change to Bing promotions in mature markets excluding 15in. notebooks.

This resulted in portable PC shipments increasing 5.3% year on year in EMEA. As expected, desktop PC shipments contracted 3.5% during the quarter. Currency fluctuations have also had a strong impact in northern Europe, Russia, and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA), while an unstable political situation and macroeconomic weaknesses continued to inhibit investments in parts of the region.

The dynamics across EMEA reflect a strong need for renewals in the mature markets, while highlighting that emerging economies continue to struggle.

“The growth in Europe is a positive sign for manufacturers. Past quarters saw consolidation in the market with HP and Lenovo emerging stronger than before,” said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing.

In Western Europe, shipments for the holiday season and post-Christmas promotions underpinned the growth particularly in the consumer space. Central Europe did not see any major uplift, whereas France and the U.K. showed solid double-digit percentage growth. Southern Europe (Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy) has been on a recovery path after years of decline.

Promotions have been key to driving demand and boosting consumer portable PC shipments by 18.2% and consumer desktops by 13.2%.

The positive impact of the end of Windows XP support on desktops ended, which explained the 3.9% decline in commercial shipments.

In addition, pockets of inventory across the region led to a further drop in sell-in of business desktops.

As expected, commercial demand remained strong for portable PCs, which posted a 12.6% increase. Overall desktop shipment growth in Western Europe reached 1.6% and portable PCs 15.9%.

“PC manufacturers prepared very attractive consumer offers this Christmas, with low price points supported by Windows 8.1 with Bing edition, which enticed end users to renew their devices,” said Maciek Gornicki, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “With the conditions of the promotion about to change, inventories have been built up this quarter, contributing further to higher levels of stock in the supply chain, which might translate into deceleration in consumer shipments in the first half of 2015. In the commercial segment, the wave of desktop renewals following the end of Windows XP support ended abruptly, while refreshes of portable PCs related to the introduction of Windows 7 four years ago continued and kept the commercial portable market healthy.”

Stefania Lorenz, associate VP, IDC CEMA, said 2014 ended with the PC market in the CEE region contracting 14% year on year as 4Q followed the trends witnessed in the previous quarters, reporting an annual decrease of 18.7%.

“For the second consecutive year the CEE region contracted by double-digit units,” she said. “2014 was affected mostly by the events in the eastern part of the region. Devaluation of the currencies in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan has had the biggest impact on purchasing power. All other countries in the region reported healthy demand for the full year with double-digit growth.”

“The PC market in Central Europe reported overall year-on-year growth of 7.9% in 4Q driven by portable PCs,” said Nikolina Jurisic, product manager, IDC CEMA.

“Demand in the consumer space was driven by the continually attractive prices offered by MS Windows 8.1 plus Bing. The commercial sector recorded even stronger year-on-year growth as there is a clear need to replace the outdated installed base in addition to updates from XP operating systems.

“The MEA region recorded positive growth of 2.6% year on year, thanks to the stronger demand witnessed in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. While Saudi Arabia recovers after the introduction of a new labor law in 2013 that had negatively affected the market, expected changes in the import-tax law in Turkey at the beginning of 2015 have certainly contributed to additional electronic products being shipped into the country.”

Vendor Highlights

The top 3 players in EMEA account for more than half of the market and the top 5 for more than 70% following strategic decisions by Samsung and Sony to further invest in the region.

•HP outperformed the market and consolidated its share at more than 23% in EMEA. The vendor made strong gains particularly in the portable PC area with solid 29% growth, taking the lead in both product categories, despite a small contraction in desktop shipments. New products like Stream and convertibles were very prominent during the holiday season promotions.

•Lenovo maintained the strongest growth among the top players, continuously beating market expectations across EMEA and reaching almost 20% share in 4Q. It saw very significant growth in southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal).

•Dell grew faster than the market and consequently gained shares in EMEA. The vendor performed well in portable PCs and particularly in CEE. A consistent and strong strategy execution supported this.

•Acer recorded a softer performance, in part due to an unfavorable year-on-year comparison. Results in Western Europe were better than in the other subregions. Desktop shipments grew slightly while the vendor increased its focus on tablets.

•ASUS continued to grow aggressively in the desktop market, albeit from a small base, while the success in the tablet market seems to have come at the expense of portable PC shipments, which contracted slightly.

Outside the top 5 vendors, Apple ranked sixth, benefiting from stronger consumer demand. Toshiba’s stronger focus on the commercial market explains why it did not fully leverage consumer trends.

Fujitsu’s focus on commercial led to a decline due to the slowdown in the overall business segment. MSI was in ninth place and Wortmann was 10th.

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How Platforms and Payments are Driving Commerce in Africa



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Is cash still king? Perhaps, but the acceptance and use of digital channels across Africa are rapidly increasing, experiencing their highest adoption rate in history.

Currently, Africa is one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world. According to Economist Intelligence, the continent will be the world’s second-fastest-growing major region in 2024, just behind Asia.

In the last decade, e-commerce has experienced phenomenal growth rates worldwide, with e-commerce sales projected to grow to USD 7 trillion globally this year. Across Africa, the retail landscape is undergoing a significant shift as contactless payments and mobile money become widely integrated. Consumers in many African countries are increasingly embracing these methods for transactions.

This SeerBit whitepaper explores Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), undoubtedly one of the smallest e-commerce regions in the world, but one with high growth potential.

The Rise of e-commerce in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a major digital transformation across Africa, with the demand for digital payments experiencing a significant and sustained rise. The result? Digital payments have become an essential feature in the continent’s financial landscape.

One of the most significant developments in alternative payment methods in Africa continues to be the rise of mobile money. The phenomenal growth of mobile money can be attributed to three key factors: increased access to technology, challenges in accessing traditional financial services, and the pandemic-driven rise of contactless payments.

This is particularly true in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 144 mobile money providers are at the forefront of transforming consumer transactions. Notably, key players such as M-Pesa (by Safaricom), MoMo (by MTN) and Orange Money dominate the market share, as reported by Statista.

Notably, the region boasts 171 active mobile money service providers, indicating the expanding influence and acceptance of mobile money in the African financial landscape.

The secret to Africa’s pivot to greater e-commerce sales has also been faster growth in B2B sales, which layers online sales onto the existing network of informal retailers in the region, rather than supplanting them. B2B e-commerce platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa are thriving because they have overcome consumer trust and logistics issues by working with and tapping into the informal markets, rather than working around these sales channels. This has allowed the B2B platforms to provide goods into remote regions, well beyond urban areas.

Cross-border transactions have also played a key role in driving e-commerce. They make up more than half of all e-commerce transaction volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa. A portion of these cross-border volumes in SSA come from consumers accessing the rising domestic African e-commerce players across local borders, such as Jumia (Nigeria), Kilimall (Kenya), and Takealot (South Africa). Domestic e-commerce provision in Sub-Saharan Africa is only just beginning. Nevertheless, it presents an opportunity for Sub-Saharan Africa to develop its own big hitters in the market and enhance the continent’s connection to the rest of the world.

Challenges to e-commerce Growth in Africa

Uneven connection across the region
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than a billion people, a large proportion of whom live in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. This huge population is not uniformly connected to the internet and there is some evidence that not all users are utilising their connectivity to its full capacity.

High inflation subduing consumer spending
Rising inflation means that individuals have less discretionary income and tend to spend less money on splurges or “luxury” products. Price becomes the leading factor in decision-making for many consumers. Across Africa, this may also mean looking to brick-and-mortar retailers and informal markets which mainly trade in cash to secure goods at lower prices.

Functionality limits user adoption
According to The State of Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems In Africa – SIIPS 2022 report, functionality pain points erode trust.

The lack of inclusivity translates into sub-optimal usage. Consumer research in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, the DRC and Egypt suggests that many end-users use digital payments only for limited use cases, such as sending and receiving money between friends and family. Consumer payments to merchants remain under-digitized: only 44 percent of individual respondents make P2B payments digitally.

The Role of Payment Platforms
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, a digital payment revolution is quietly unfolding. Fueled by the surge in mobile phones, the drive for financial inclusion, and the push for digital transformation, alternative payment methods are rapidly gaining much welcomed traction. Traditional banking infrastructure often struggles to reach the vast unbanked and underbanked populations, but these innovative solutions bridge the gap, offering financial services to a dramatically wider segment.

For example, according to the Global Findex Database (World Bank), in the region only three percent of the population has access to a credit card, while mobile phones have proliferated quickly, with a 75 percent penetration rate, making alternative payment methods a perfect match for the specific needs of Sub-Saharan Africa.

As Aida Diarra, senior vice-president and head of Visa in Sub-Saharan Africa puts it, “The fact that there are 261 million people today that do not have access to financial services – and combine the fact that there are less than two million businesses that accept digital payments – it creates an environment where innovation has to play a role to drive financial inclusion and commerce across the continent.”

Sub-Saharan Africa is now considered the global epicentre of mobile money, due to its 48 percent of global share of registered accounts. In 2022, this region had 763 million mobile money accounts, out of the 1.6 billion accounts worldwide. Furthermore, this trend has spiked with the high registration of new accounts in 2022, as the area was responsible for 59 percent of all new accounts registered globally.

Mobile money services have gained widespread adoption across the continent, with countries like Kenya and Ghana leading the way. In Kenya, for instance, mobile money platforms have revolutionised the way people transact, with transactions made via mobile wallets equivalent to a significant percentage of the country’s GDP. This success can be attributed to high mobile phone penetration, limited traditional banking infrastructure, and the affordability and convenience of mobile money services.

As the e-commerce sector becomes increasingly competitive, retail businesses need to adjust their approaches to include providing more value propositions for their main audience, localised e-commerce solutions and engaging more with a younger generation of consumers.


Sub-Saharan Africa’s payment landscape is undergoing a dynamic transformation, driven by innovation, alternative solutions and vibrant new market players. However, a critical gap remains. The infrastructure, regulations, and overall payment ecosystem haven’t fully matured to support the optimal development of payment services and remittance flows across the region.

Despite this, e-commerce in Africa is well underway. Estimates suggest about 264 e-commerce start-ups are operational across the continent, active in at least 23 countries. This indicates a significant potential to create new jobs – as many as three million by 2025. These jobs will be directly in online marketplaces, supporting services and spin-off economic activity.


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FG Unveils Roadmap for Africa’s Digital Trade Revolution Under AfCFTA



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The Federal Government on Friday unveiled a comprehensive strategy to lead Africa’s digital trade revolution within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The strategy is part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to harness trade as a catalyst for economic growth and continental cohesion in line with AfCFTA objectives.

To this effect, Vice President Kashim Shettima said Nigeria is in a unique position to spearhead the continent’s technological transformation.

He made the observation while delivering the keynote address during a Stakeholders Summit with the theme, “Digital Trade in Africa: The Renewed Hope Strategy,” held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“We are in a vantage position because we are the continent’s largest ICT hub, and as such, we must lead the way to the future of this peculiar wave of the Industrial Revolution.

“Our collaboration must prioritize comparisons of our policy initiatives to those of developed economies and fine-tune them to sustain our place and fast-track our growth,” the Vice President stated.

Senator Shettima outlined key components of the roadmap to include implementation of AfCFTA’s Digital Trade Protocol and the development of expansive technical talent hubs.

The plan, according to him, also focuses “on enhancing digital infrastructure investments, promoting disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensuring the alignment of multiple government agencies to support digital trade initiatives.”

The VP stressed the need for strong synergy between the public and private sectors in implementing the AfCFTA’s Digital Trade Protocol, just as he assured that the federal government remains committed to investing in digital infrastructure and human capital development to drive the process.

He continued: “Our collaboration must prioritize comparisons of our policy initiatives to those of developed economies and fine-tune them to sustain our place and fast-track our growth. For a sector upon which all others rely to survive, digital technologies hold the nation together, and we cannot afford to slow down.

“Our programmes, from the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) to the ongoing intervention to train 3 million technical talents by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, to the Outsource to Nigeria Initiative (OTNI), are lifelines in our digital economy.

“They offer us an avenue to not only maximize our potential but also commit to the adoption of the Digital Trade Protocol within AfCFTA,” VP Shettima further explained.

Earlier in his remarks, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijjani, said the Tinubu administration is investing significantly in every aspect of the digital trade protocol, with a view to harnessing opportunities in the country and continent at large.

He explained that through innovative policies and programmes such as the 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) programme, data protection policy and improved investments in digital infrastructure, the administration is equipping the country’s young population for the opportunities of the present and future.

Underscoring the significance of technology in trading across the continent, Dr Tijjani said opportunities that exist within the single market area are unprecedented and could best be harnessed through effective collaboration and networking facilitated by digital technology.

In his welcome address, the Special Assistant to the President on ICT Policy, Dr. Salihu Dasuki Nakande, thanked President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima for their commitment and dedication to the Renewed Hope Agenda, which he said has laid a solid foundation for the digital transformation journey in the country.

He said their continuous support has led to the discourse on digital transformation which will equally lead to a prosperous Nigeria.

Quoting the Vice President in his address at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, Dr. Nakande said, “Looking ahead, there is a need for speed and cohesion among African countries, the idea of AfCFTA must be revived and there is no hope in keeping waiting in this world, we must act swiftly and together ensure that the AfCFTA succeeds.

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Cybersecurity Firm Uncovers Scams Targeting Olympic Games Fans



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The first in-person Summer Olympics since the lifting of pandemic restrictions is set to begin on July 26, attracting millions of sports enthusiasts.

Kaspersky experts have noted a surge in scamming activity surrounding the event, with fraudsters targeting users’ money and data.

To understand how scammers are exploiting viewers’ interest, Kaspersky experts analysed Olympic-related phishing websites and identified the main schemes currently in use.

Fake Tickets

With the Olympic Committee warning of fake ticket offers and news of a UK swimmer’s family being scammed out of £2,500 while attempting to purchase tickets for the Paris Olympics, Kaspersky’s telemetry confirms that fraudsters are actively crafting phishing websites.

These sites offer tickets for Olympic competitions at exclusive prices or claim to have seats for sold-out events. This well-tested yet effective fraudulent scheme has resurfaced during many Olympic seasons, and Kaspersky’s experts expect such websites to proliferate during Paris 2024 events.

In this scenario, users fill out a data form and transfer both their personal information and money to scammers. As a result, they may receive invalid tickets or, more likely, nothing at all, leading to financial loss and their data being sold on Dark Web forums.

Fake Corporate Giveaways

Many organisations host giveaways for their employees, partners, and customers during major events. Recently, Kaspersky experts uncovered a fraudulent page impersonating a French bank, falsely promising a chance to win event tickets.

Employees are enticed to fill out a form with personal details, including their Internet account login credentials and passwords. This allows fraudsters to infiltrate victims’ corporate resources and potentially spread malicious content further.

Fake Merch Stores

Kaspersky experts have also discovered fraudulent online stores selling merchandise such as shirts, uniforms, accessories, and more. Needless to say, those who were enticed by these offers never received the items they ordered.

Special Cell Phone Plans

Fraudsters have set up phishing websites offering a free 48 GB data package for all networks. These sites entice users to provide personal information, such as phone numbers and payment details, under the guise of activating the data package.

Once submitted, this information is harvested for malicious purposes, leading to potential financial loss and privacy breaches.

“During major events like the Olympics, the sheer volume of offers can be overwhelming and deceptive,” says Anton Yatsenko, security expert at Kaspersky. “Scammers prey on the excitement and urgency people feel, making it crucial to approach every offer with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to verify the authenticity of offers and protect your personal information. Your vigilance can be the difference between enjoying the event and falling victim to a scam.”

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