With over 100% mobile penetration, the South African market is very lucrative for device manufacturers. Major players such as Nokia, Samsung and LG have the potential to sell millions of handsets via South African retail outlets, resulting in healthy profits.
This begs the question as to which manufacturers hold the greatest market share in South Africa. The table below shows the distribution of handset sales between nine of the most popular mobile device brands.
These numbers are according to the 2009 Mobile Trend findings by IT market research firm World Wide Worx.
|iPhone||Less than 1%|
Nokia continues to hold the greatest portion of the local market share. This, said Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, is because lower income earners typically choose to purchase affordable devices from trusted brands. In the next 12 to 24 months Goldstuck forecasts that Nokia’s local market share will climb
As consumers begin to opt for more advanced, specialised devices some brands will begin to decline. Goldstuck forecasts that in the next 24 months Motorola’s local market share will drop to 3%, adding that the “Motorola phone looks almost as if it is going to disappear from this market”.
Samsung market share is expected to fall to 19% in the same timeframe.
The big winners in years to come will be those manufacturers who cater to the smartphone market. “HTC and BlackBerry from nowhere are going to become key players in the next 12 to 24 months,” reiterated Goldstuck, who cited predicted growth of 5% and 6% respectively as proof of this trend.
Goldstuck also warned that local network providers would have to work harder in order to cater for consumer needs. Overall network satisfaction in terms of service levels, signal quality and coverage is predicted to fall from 48% to 25% in the next 18 months.
Most popular cellphone brands – discussion