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Tablets Popularity Hurting PC Sales across MEA, Turkey

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Middle East and Africa region’s PC market experienced another quarter of steep decline in Q2 2013 as the proliferation of mobile technology continues unabated, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek can report.

According to preliminary results released recently by International Data Corporation (IDC), shipments of PCs into the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey slowed 18.3% year on year during the second quarter of 2013 to total 4.4 million units.

Desktops were the hardest hit, with shipments down 20.0% year on year to 1.8 million units, while notebook shipments declined 17.1% over the same period to total 2.6 million units.

“A growing portion of end users, primarily from the consumer segment, are shifting their spending from PCs to tablets and smartphones,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“This was accompanied by ongoing instability in several parts of the Middle East and Africa region, which resulted in PC spending by both the commercial and consumer segments plummeting at an even faster rate.”

“Intel and Microsoft have made keen efforts to revive the position of PCs against tablets, particularly in light of the latter adapting its operating system to a touch-screen interface,” continues Charakla.

“However, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS still outperform Microsoft’s Windows 8 when it comes to the number of applications the respective operating systems offer, which has a direct negative impact on the user experience. At the same time, the growing availability of aggressively priced tablet models, including those offered by multinational vendors, is continuing to encourage growing numbers of end users to switch to this increasingly popular form factor.”

Despite declining price points on the numerous ultra-slim notebook models available in the market, this product category failed to catapult its own popularity at the planned pace. Indeed, a large portion of end users still prefer to buy portable PCs with optical drives, which most ultra-slim notebook models fail to offer.

All key markets in the region experienced double-digit declines year on year. Turkey suffered a significant drop in PC shipments owing to the ongoing protests and social unrest in the country, while poor economic growth and high inflation caused a dramatic fall in PC shipments into South Africa.

A change in the labor law by the government of Saudi Arabia forced a large number of expatriates to leave the country, causing its PC market to suffer tremendously.

Meanwhile, in the UAE, a sharp decline in PC sales through the retail channel combined with instability in a number of key re-export destinations to drive a considerable decline in shipments into the country.

“Ongoing political instability in neighboring Syria continues to negatively impact the PC markets of Jordan and Lebanon,” said Victoria Mendes, a research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“And the impact of this instability is being exacerbated by the cannibalization of these PC markets by tablet devices. The home segment suffered the most as consumer sentiment remains very low in these countries, while the absence of large commercial and public sector deals further contributed to the decline of the overall PC market across the Levant region.”

HP continued to lead the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey PC market during the second quarter of 2013, despite suffering a decline of 19.5% year on year.

Similarly, Dell posted a 17.5% year-on-year drop in shipments into the region, but was able to hold on to second place in the vendor rankings. Dell also managed to secure a large PC delivery into the Saudi education sector during the quarter.

As was the case in previous quarters, Lenovo experienced the fastest growth in the region among the leading vendors, with its shipments increasing 17.1% year on year to maintain its position at number three. Samsung climbed to fourth place after posting year-on-year shipment growth of 7.9%, while a drastic 42.1% decline for Acer resulted in the vendor slipping down to fifth.


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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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