When it comes to things to brag for, South Africa certainly has its share. If I pay a visit to my greengrocer, chances are most of his fruits are South African; it’s the second largest exporter in the world. It generates most of Africa’s electricity and has the most luxurious train in the world, the Rovos Rail. But there is something that really stands out from the rest. South Africa is the country with more SIM cards than people. You heard that right. With a mobile penetration of more than 128%, South Africa is a smartphone usage paradise. Here are 7 very interesting facts about smartphone usage in South Africa I bet you didn’t know:
1. 80% of the population surf the Net through their phone
To be honest, I use my smartphone even when I have my laptop in front of me. It is so convenient, isn’t it? It shouldn’t be surprising that South Africans really love their smartphones. And they, more often that not, use their trusted gadgets to access the Internet.
2. They all have a plan. A data plan.
If you have a cellphone in South Africa, chances are that you have a contract as well. 62% of the users pay on a month to month basis while the rest prefer a prepaid solution. The vast majority favors a data plan than searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot. I don’t blame them.
3. One GB is not enough
More that 50% of the smartphone users have access to data exceeding the 1 GB on a monthly basis. South Africans are pretty serious when it comes to Internet usage and they want to be sure that they will be able to access the web whenever, wherever.
4. The war of the phones
Let us take a stroll through the streets of Joburg and check what kind of mobile phones people are using. Well, it seems like Samsung seems to hold most of the share, with Blackberries following the lead. Most curious is the fact that Nokia comes third, leaving Apple on a tight spot. These numbers, though, are subject to rapid changes. South Africans rarely stick with the same device for more than three years, some replacing their phone in under a year.
5. To Samsung or not to Samsung
Most of the people I know own a Samsung or an iPhone. The way things are going in South Africa, it could very well change its constitution and be renamed to SamsungLand. South Africans are most likely to replace their old phone with a Samsung when the time comes.
6. Gr8 to C U!
South Africans are kind, friendly, and somewhat curious people. And they express that friendliness and curiosity by spending 95% of their mobile data on social networking and instant messaging. Facebook, through the purchase of WhatsApp, is leading the race in the instant messaging market, with BBM still holding a fair share. The relatively high cost of data in the country prohibits the use of MB hungry services such as YouTube. Oh well, it is all about communication, and the pals in South Africa seem to get along pretty well.
7. Should I wrap that for you?
There are some things I mostly do through the Internet; buy books, book travel, purchase concert tickets. South Africans seem to not share my enthusiasm for online shopping: The percentage of Internet users making purchases through their smartphones is rather small. Most use their data to access their web banking and online stock market needs.
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