Apple recently made its iTunes music store available to South Africans, joining Nokia as the only other smartphone maker to offer a digital music shop to its users.
Nokia Music and iTunes aren’t the only digital music services available in South Africa, but they are the only well-stocked and widely available ones from within a smartphone or tablet ecosystem.
Examples of other types of online music services include the recently launched Simfy and Rara, which offer streaming of any number of songs from their catalogues for a fixed monthly fee.
Rhythm Records and Look & Listen also offer digital music downloads in South Africa through their websites.
Music is only one part of a much larger content offering associated with the smartphone ecosystem nowadays, however.
Applications, games, videos, and books are also all on offer if you happen to find yourself in the right place in the world.
Not all smartphone ecosystems let South African developers charge for their apps either. In particular, Google only lets South African app developers offer their software for free.
The table below shows what some of the platform and manufacturer ecosystems offer South Africans:
|Marketplace||Apps: buying||Music||Movies||Series||Books||Apps: selling|
|BlackBerry App World||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Yes|
|Symbian/Nokia||Yes||Yes (Nokia Music)||N/A||N/A||N/A||Yes|
|Samsung/Android||Yes||Limited (Music Hub)||Limited (Video hub)||Limited (Video hub)||Third-party (Readers hub)||Yes (Samsung Apps)|
|Windows/Nokia||Yes||Yes (Nokia Music)||No||No||No (Nokia Reading)||Yes|
|“No” means content is on offer elsewhere in the world, but not SA; “Limited” means content is available but is either restricted to certain devices and/or has a very limited subset of the content available internationally.|