- HarmonyOS: Apple, Google to Lose Emerging Markets
Following US sanctions that prohibited American companies from dealing with Chinese companies –including Google, Android manufacturer –Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, has now launched its own operating system, HongmengOS.
Richard Yu, the CEO of the consumer division, Huawei, said the operating system –the HongmengOS, known as HarmonyOS in English can work across different devices from smartphones to smart speakers and even small sensors.
According to Yu, HarmonyOS is part of Huawei Internet of Things–connecting more internet devices.
The company plans to first implement the new operating system on “smart screen products” later this year and gradually roll it out on other devices over the next three years.
HarmonyOS will first launch in China before Huawei push it to other emerging markets.
The new operating system is expected to further Chinese companies’ reach in emerging markets where they already have the largest smartphone market share ahead of Samsung and Apple.
China’s major smartphone brands, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme (HOVXR), have combined global market share of 42 percent in the second quarter of 2019 despite the sanctions.
In the same quarter, Samsung shipped 76.6 million units, up 7.1 percent from 71.5 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2018.
Huawei came second with 56.7 million, 4.6 percent higher than 54.2 million shipped a year ago. Apple came third with 36.4 million, down by 11.9 percent from 41.3 million shipped a year ago.
Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, Lenovo, and Realme exported 32.3 million, 29 million, 27 million, 9.5 million and 4.7 million, up 0.9 percent, -2 percent, 2.1 percent, 6 percent and 848 percent.
Chinese companies exported mainly to emerging markets using competitive pricing strategy to penetrate the largely untapped low-income markets. However, because all these companies use Android operating system, they are expected to switch to HarmonyOS if the US-China failed to reach a trade agreement.
According to Varun Mishra, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, “Heavy marketing, faster portfolio refresh, high spec devices at aggressive prices, and multi-channel presence are some of the key reasons why Chinese brands fared better than the local and global OEMs. These brands have been aggressively expanding outside China and achieving growth offsetting the saturation in their home market. Their strategies and product portfolios are more aligned to the local needs and preferences, which is one of their key strengths.”
Prior to the launching of HarmonyOS, experts projected a further decline in Huawei smartphone shipment due to the US sanctions but with the company announcing HarmonyOS and planning to make it an open-source to drive apps development and broaden it adaptability to more devices, Chinese smartphone companies are poised to capture more emerging markets going forward or the US would be forced to pull back and allow Android to continue servicing existing Chinese users after the expiration of 90 days grace period.
Yu said making HarmonyOS open-source could help the OS scale and attract a large number of useful apps.
He said, without mentioning any name, “many” app developers “have strong interest” in using HarmonyOS.
He added that he thinks Apple’s iOS and Android don’t cater for enough internet devices, therefore, the companies plan to throw open HarmonyOS for faster growth.
Again, a lot of American developers looking to break into China, over 1.3 billion market and other emerging economies, will jump on the opportunity, giving HarmonyOS access to some of the world’s best developers. The only thing synonymous with Apple iOS and Android.
OPay Urges Customers to Complete BVN, NIN Verification Following CBN Directive
OPay, a prominent financial services firm, has called upon its customers to finalize the verification of their accounts by linking their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) or National Identity Numbers (NIN) in accordance with the recent directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN, in a circular dated December 1, mandated all deposit money banks to enforce a ‘Post no Debit’ restriction on accounts lacking BVN or NIN.
Accounts without BVN would be placed under a ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ status from March 1, as outlined in the circular jointly signed by Chibuzo Efobi and Haruna Mustapha, Directors at the Payments System Management Department and Financial Policy and Regulation Department, respectively.
OPay affirmed the CBN’s directive and emphasized the necessity for account holders to complete the verification process.
Dauda Gotring, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of OPay, emphasized the importance of a secure and seamless experience for customers.
He encouraged users to comply with the verification process, reassuring them of the company’s commitment to a smooth process and 24/7 customer support.
OPay provided multiple channels for customer assistance, including in-app self-service, WhatsApp, phone lines, and social media platforms.
The company’s commitment to inclusivity and technological advancement underscores its mission to enhance financial services accessibility across Nigeria.
MTN Group Ltd. Reports 90% Plunge in Profit Amid Nigeria’s Currency Woes
MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless service provider, has announced a 90% decline in its full-year profit following the plunge in Nigerian Naira.
The company revealed that its earnings per share for the year ending December fell to a range of 1.07 rand to 3.21 rand (approximately 6 to 17 US cents), a significant drop from 10.71 rand recorded in 2022.
The Nigerian naira, which experienced a 49% depreciation in 2023 and an additional 44% decline this year, has emerged as a significant factor impacting MTN’s financial performance.
As one of the world’s worst-performing currencies against the dollar, the naira’s instability has created a volatile economic environment, prompting concerns among international businesses operating in Nigeria.
The currency crisis, stemming from a shortage of dollars and exacerbated by policy missteps and corruption, has led to an exodus of multinational corporations seeking to repatriate earnings from Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria, with its burgeoning young population and growing tech sector, has struggled to address economic dysfunction despite its vast natural resources.
MTN Group Ltd., which boasts approximately 77 million customers in Nigeria, historically derives a substantial portion of its earnings from the country.
However, the company’s shares plummeted by as much as 7.2% in early trading following the profit announcement, reflecting investor concerns over the challenging operating environment.
Despite the bleak financial report, MTN highlighted positive metrics such as a 45% increase in data traffic and a 49% surge in mobile money transaction volumes.
However, the company refrained from providing guidance on its earnings margins, further adding to uncertainties surrounding its future financial performance.
Analysts underscored the importance of regulatory stability and economic reforms in Nigeria to restore investor confidence and mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations on companies like MTN.
As businesses navigate the economic landscape, the resilience of Nigeria’s currency and regulatory framework remains a critical concern for investors and industry stakeholders alike.
Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.
In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.
Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.
According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”
Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.
Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.
For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co
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