The overall wearables market is expected to return to strong growth after a brief slowdown in 2016 that resulted from delayed launches of major platforms and notable vendors struggling to maintain pace.
Looking ahead, new vendors, emerging form factors, and an expanded number of retail outlets will drive worldwide wearable device shipments from 102.4 million in 2016 to 237.5 million in 2021, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3%, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
“With the shift towards watches and clothing, the need of a fashionable design will take center stage,” said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Tech companies will be forced to step up their game and offer a wider selection of sizes, materials, and designs in order to appeal to a broader audience. We also expect more tech vendors to partner with fashion brands for their creativity, and equally important, their distribution network. In doing so, wearables will be made available to a previously unaware auidence – one that frequents fashion outlets over tech outlets.”
Earworn devices are also poised for growth as new startups bring their innovative technology to the table and traditional headphone companies incorporate additional capabilities beyond audio. Though growth is expected, volumes will remain somewhat modest as the primary features of health and fitness tracking “hearables” overlap with the more popular wrist worn devices.
In addition to the growth opportunity for these products, it is important to note the diversity of options within each category.
“Watches struggled as mass market devices due to limited and unclear value proposition to a broad base of potential users,” noted Ramon T. Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “Most potential customers saw watches performing multiple functions, but none of them worked exceptionally well to accomplish a myriad of tasks. Going forward, we instead expect watches to hyper-segment into specific niches, including connected kids’ watches, athletic watches, luxury and fashion watches, and lifestyle watches that better address different segment needs, whether they be communication, health and fitness, or as smart luxury and fashion timepieces. Not all of them will have the same features, but they will have enough – and the rights ones – to do the job.”
The same approach can be applied to emerging products. Llamas added, “Clothing, for example, can be designed to track athletic performance or to track vital information and communicate with workers – like first responders heading into dangerous situations. Similarly, companies are augmenting earwear with fitness tracking and smart coaching, while others are focusing on enhancing audio or providing real-time language translation. In both cases, the wearable is not taking a one-size fits all approach, and instead concentrates on specific solutions for specific use cases.”
Jumia Partners Reckitt Benkiser, Nokia, Others to Enable Consumers Access Quality Products
Jumia has launched a Brand Festival campaign in partnership with top global brands such as Reckitt Benkiser, Unilever, Nokia, Intel, HP, Nexus, Hisense, Sharp, Samsung, Binatone, XIAOMI, ABSOLUT, Dettol, and Logitech.
The campaign which is scheduled to run from September 21st to 27th, will provide consumers access to top quality products directly from the manufacturers, eliminating all third parties, thereby reducing the cost of the products, which will enable consumers to save money.
Jumia Nigeria CEO, Massimiliano Spalazzi, said: “The aim of the campaign is to enable our consumers to save more money while getting the best quality products directly from the brand manufacturers. Consumers today are more conscious of the quality of the product they buy on Jumia, and at the same time want to save money while shopping.
In the wake of COVID-19, we have continued to strive to operate so that consumers can continue to stay at home, use e-commerce to shop, and stay safe in this trying time. We are proud to partner with Unilever, Nokia and other top brands as part of our commitment to provide customers easy access to quality products directly from the manufacturers at best prices.
Head of Key Accounts and e-Commerce at Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria Ltd, Afam Onwordi, stated that: “We have enjoyed a good and healthy relationship with Jumia in the last couple of years.
“As our fight in RB is making access to the highest quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment a right and NOT a privilege, we would therefore always seize the opportunity of every major event like this (Brand Festival) to reward our consumers with interesting offers and deals across our wide range of products.”
Senior Business Manager at HMD Global, Emmanuel Ossai, said: “For us at HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, we are very excited to be supporting Jumia on this festival for authentic brands in Nigeria.
“We have a commitment to continuously deliver value and believe that this partnership will afford Nigerians more opportunities to enjoy the beauty of quality hardware and the secure Android experience that we offer across our range of Nokia smartphones.
“Interestingly, we have new exciting devices that will be unveiled to our Nigerian customers in the coming weeks and we cannot wait for you to have a feel of hardware magic carefully combined with software excellence. So, keep watching this space.”
TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech
Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.
According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.
Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.
This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.
On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.
Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.
As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.
Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.
“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.
“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”
“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.
“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.
“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”
Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others
inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.
It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.
Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.
Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.
“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.
According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.
“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.
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