Most popular smartphones in South Africa

Samsung is the dominant brand in the mind of urban consumers, and instant messaging is the most-used application among South African smartphone owners.

This is according to the latest Digital Lifestyle Research Programme (DLP) results from BMI-TechKnowledge.

The researchers noted that South African smartphone penetration continues to grow rapidly, and is forecast to reach more than 83% of the over-16 population by 2019.

It crossed the 50% penetration mark during 2015.

BMI-T interviewed 1,500 people in metropolitan areas for its DLP, finding that nearly a third of respondents said they would buy a Samsung smartphone next.

The graph below summarises the findings of the survey.

BMI-T DLP most popular smartphone
BMI-T DLP most popular smartphone

Features considered the most important on current smartphones are the operating system, storage space, and data connectivity.

The most important features on feature phones were long battery life, camera functionality, and Internet connectivity.

BMI-T’s research found that the two most-used downloaded applications across all segments were WhatsApp and Facebook, and made up around 60% of responses.

Twitter and Instagram tied for third place.

Comparing DLP 2013 and DLP 2015 suggests that Cell C and Telkom Mobile have both taken market share from Vodacom and MTN in the metros.

What mobile subscribers pay for service

BMI-T’s Digital Lifestyle Measure (DLM) classifies consumers into four groups: DLM1 (Low-Tech), DLM2 (Less-Tech), DLM3 (More-Tech), and DLM4 (High-Tech), based on the extent of their digital lifestyles.

The average monthly spend on a cellphone for voice and data was R210 per month, with DLM1s spending R148 p/m and DLM4s spending R449 p/m.

If price was not an issue, 35% of respondents said they would consider a phablet – with the higher DLMs more likely to consider it.

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Most popular smartphones in South Africa