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IDC Sees Double Smartphone Shipments to Africa in 4 Years

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Smartphone shipments to Africa were up 21.5% year on year for Q2 2013, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC).

Referencing its most recent Middle East and Africa Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker®, the leading global market intelligence and advisory firm for the information technology and telecommunications markets announced that smartphones now account for 18.0% of the overall African mobile phone market’s volume.

Samsung currently dominates the African smartphone market, recording 52.1% unit share for Q2 2013.

This represents the fourth quarter in a row that the South Korean giant’s market share has hovered around the 50% mark. BlackBerry trailed way behind with 17.8% share of the market’s volume.

The vendor’s position improved by almost three percentage points on the previous quarter as the brand still retains a high level of popularity in the Africa region due to its cheaper data packages.

LG has been trying to gain a foothold in the market but its products have not been very successful with the masses, and the vendor accounted for less than 2% of the African smartphone market in Q2 2013.

Sony, on the other hand, has reinvented itself with its new lineup after buying out Ericsson’s share in the company.

The Japanese vendor’s midrange and high-end devices are pushing hard against the offerings of the market leaders, with its unit share increasing constantly, up from 0.3% to 3.4% year on year in Q2 2013.

Nokia continues to dominate the feature-phone market, despite the well-publicized difficulties it has encountered in making a comeback in the smartphone space.

The vendor accounted for 58.5% of the feature-phone market’s volume in Q2 2013, down only slightly on its performance in the corresponding quarter of 2012. Samsung trailed in second place with 13.6% unit share.

“There is a huge gap between the leaders and the rest of the market players for both smartphones and feature phones,” said Simon Baker, program manager for mobile handsets at IDC CEMA.

“As a continent, Africa requires a very significant commitment in terms of local offices and resources in order to build out a presence and logistical capabilities across so many countries. Samsung, with its broad range of consumer electronics products and unwavering ambition, has been able to achieve just that, in the same vein as Nokia did before it.”

While the task is seemingly putting off smaller players, Hamza Saleem, a senior research analyst for mobile devices at IDC MEA believes there is room for nimble regional brands that pick just a few countries on which to focus.

“They can source Android smartphones at very competitive prices from a host of Chinese manufacturing plants and launch them under their own brands,” said Saleem.

“The most prominent such brand is Tecno. It started off with relatively simple phones but is now offering more sophisticated smartphones and is very active in West and East Africa.”

The price of mobile broadband is falling across Africa thanks to the spread of fiber-optic links connecting to the new ocean cables that dot the continent’s coastline.

South Africa remains the largest smartphone market, with more than a million units being shipped each quarter, but IDC’s latest figures show Nigeria is rapidly gaining ground.

With the repercussions of the Arab Spring continuing to be felt strongly in some parts of the region, the economic situation in countries such as Egypt has deteriorated. Such economic constraints have had a negative impact on the top end of the market in the affected countries, with consumers moving toward lower-end feature phones as confidence waivers due to ongoing conflicts in the major cities.

Against this backdrop, IDC expects the North Africa region to see a decline in mobile shipments for the foreseeable future.

IDC forecasts the African smartphone market to double in volume over the next four years and account for close to a third of all handset shipments to the continent by 2017.

Feature phones remain the heart of the African mobile phone market, and IDC believes that as the number of mobile users increases across the continent, feature-phone volumes will remain strong despite the growth in smartphone shipments.

 


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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Nigeria, Others Facing ‘Millions of Cyber Attacks’ in 2020

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Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, continues to fall victim to millions of malware attacks and Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs), according to the latest research from Kaspersky.

The IT security firm says its security solutions have reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of PUA (including pornware, adware) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

PUAs are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves, Kaspersky explains. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way.

For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetizing software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware, according to Kaspersky.

“Evaluating results over the same seven-month period in Nigeria, there were 3,8 million malware attacks and 16,8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much. Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense.

In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances,” the company adds.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the ‘grey zone’ programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in seven months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals.

“The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flags such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity,” says Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.


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