Smartphone usage stats in SA

Search giant Google revealed South African smartphone statistics from survey results that were recently published online

By - November 9, 2011
Google ZA Our Mobile Planet

Google recently unveiled the results of a new global survey on smartphone usage and mobile marketing, available freely online at a website called Our Mobile Planet.

The survey, entitled “Global Mobile Research: The Smartphone User & The Mobile Marketer,” was conducted earlier this year with Ipsos GmbH, TNS Infratest and the Mobile Marketing Association, and Google presented results specific to South Africa at its Think Mobile event in Cape Town this week (7 November 2011).

Google highlighted the following findings of the South African portion of the survey.

The Typical Smartphone User: 18-34 Years Old, Well Educated and Working Full-Time

The majority of smartphone users are between 18-34 years old, are well educated with full-time employment and earn an annual net income of more than R40,000. Many users are new to smartphones, with 64% saying it was their first smartphone device. Almost half of these new users had bought their device within the past 12 months.

Mobile Planet 2011 - Smartphone penetration in South Africa by age group

Mobile Planet 2011 - Smartphone penetration in South Africa by age group

Devices, their Role and Usage: Important Accessory – Always and Everywhere

BlackBerry (44%) had the highest market share, followed by Nokia (27%).

Consumers use their smartphones primarily at home, followed by work and then on-the-go. As important as a purse or a set of keys, 83% don’t leave the house without their smartphones. Users are driven by having information from the Internet at hand and having their smartphones to ‘kill time’ while out and about.

Internet usage – especially browsing (56% of users) and e-mailing (57%) – is very important for smartphone users. Only every tenth user did not have cross-media usage habits: the majority of users indicated that they did something else while using their smartphones, like listening to music (62%), using the internet on another device (49%) or watching TV (49%).

Internet Usage: High Frequency and Number of Daily Sessions

The typical smartphone user accesses the web almost every day (63% mobile, 62% fixed) with several sessions on a given day – shorter sessions on mobile and longer ones on PC. Almost half expect to spend more time on mobile web via smartphones in the future. Users expect their web usage on PC to remain the same.

Search: High Frequency and Google the Most Utilised Search Engine
Search engines are a significant part of browsing activity (61% mobile, 80% fixed). Only 12% never use local search and almost 92% mention further actions after looking up specific information, with 36% making a purchase. For the majority of users, Google is the number one search engine.

Videos: Low Frequency, with YouTube Coming Out Tops

Every second smartphone is used to watch videos, at least on a monthly base. YouTube (64% mobile, 83% fixed) is in first place, followed by Facebook (62% mobile, 57% fixed).

Social Networking: High Frequency, with Facebook the Most Visited Site

63% of smartphone users access social networks via their smartphones every day – 35% post personal updates daily. The most visited social network is Facebook (95% mobile & fixed).

Mobile Advertising: Accepted on High Level with High Awareness

15% of users have used a mobile coupon in a store. Almost 84% of users have noticed mobile advertising – mostly on search engines. Almost 70% have taken action after seeing a mobile ad.

Mobile Commerce: Growing Shopping Channels Hindered by Security and Convenience

28% of consumers use their smartphones for price comparisons or product information when shopping – the same amount have changed their minds about a purchase, as a result of retrieving information via a smartphone.

A fourth of consumers use their smartphones when shopping physically and also shop directly via the device – 47% of them within the past month. Preference of a fixed PC and fears that a purchase might not be secure are the main barriers to mobile commerce. 30% anticipate a higher purchase rate via their smartphones within the next 12 months.

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