Android vs BlackBerry vs iOS vs Symbian vs Windows Phone in South Africa

Deloitte Digital has revealed the market share of mobile operating systems in South Africa based on its research

By - January 30, 2014
Android Apple battle

BlackBerry- and Symbian-based devices might still dominate South Africa’s smartphone landscape, but Android is outselling its competitors by a significant margin.

That’s the word from Tim Bishop, director at Deloitte Digital, who was answering questions about their latest statistics on smartphone OS market share in South Africa.

According to Bishop, the total smartphones in South Africa currently is pegged at just short of 16 million in use.

The snapshot of the installed base at the time of writing in January 2014 was as follows:

Smartphone installed base, Deloitte Digital, January 2014

Smartphone installed base, Deloitte Digital, January 2014

  • BlackBerry: 36%
  • Symbian S60: 26%
  • Android 22%
  • iPhone 8%
  • Windows Phone 5%
  • Asha Touch 3%

However, this is not the complete picture, Bishop said, as we are dealing with legacy trends in South Africa.

“What is flying off the shelves now is a different picture with Android, dominated by Samsung, taking nearly half of all smartphone sales and growing,” Bishop said.

Looking at sales rather than installed base, the picture changes as follows:

  • Android: 48% of sales;
  • BlackBerry 25% and declining;
  • Windows Phone: 13% and growing;
  • Asha Touch: 8% and growing;
  • iPhone: 6% (with spikes up to 10% at the launch of a new handset).
Tim Bishop portrait

Tim Bishop

Although Symbian remains an important handset for app development in South Africa due to its large installed base, Bishop said that it is no longer available and will therefore naturally decline.

However, this “will take a good few years yet,” Bishop said.

Research methodology

Asked where their statistics come from, Bishop said that it is based on aggregated network numbers, sales figures from various sources, panel research, and stats and surveys available to Deloitte which are put together to provide an accurate countrywide view by the Deloitte Digital mobility team.

“Accurate figures and insights are vital in making critical decisions for our clients and are never what is insinuated by tech enthusiasts – where you would think only the iPhone exists,” Bishop said.

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