Most popular phones in SA

Recent research published by World Wide Worx revealed that Nokia remains South Africa’s most popular cellphone brand.

While the results show that Nokia is losing “brand momentum,” all indications are that Nokia should hold onto its dominant position, though the Finnish manufacturer is set to lose market share.


According to Nokia, their position in the market is due at least in part to the Nokia 1100 series, which included the 1110 and 1112.

Currently their best selling devices overall are their music devices, with Nokia specifically mentioning the 5130 XpressMusic.

When it comes to smartphones, Nokia said that the E63 and E72 are their current top sellers, taking over from the E71.

Nokia’s position in the smartphone market has come under pressure as Android and iPhone’s popularity has grown. Research and analysis company Canalys recently reported that shipments of Android devices had officially surpassed those of Nokia during the fourth quarter of 2011.


One of the brands that has adopted the Android platform is LG. The brand usage results reported by World Wide Worx shows that LG currently ranks third as the most used primary device in South Africa.

Of the two Android smartphones LG have available in South Africa, they report that the P500 Optimus One has sold the most units locally.

Their best-selling phone at the moment is the C100/105, while their most popular phone of all time is the LG KS360, also known as the “Chatterbox.”


HTC is a popular smartphone brand in South Africa that recently announced a number of Windows Phone 7 devices to complement their line-up of Android devices.

According to Leaf International Communications, the official distributors of HTC products in South Africa, their current best-selling devices are the HTC Wildfire and HTC Desire.

Their best-selling device of all time in South Africa is the HTC S710.

Sony Ericsson

Another cellphone manufacturer that has adopted Android is the joint venture between Sony and Ericsson. While HTC and LG both use Android and Windows Phone 7 for their smartphones, Sony Ericsson only uses Android for the underlying operating system of their smartphones.

Sony Ericsson’s X10 Mini Pro is not only their best-selling smartphone, but also their best-selling phone currently.

According to Sony Ericsson, their Walkman range of devices have been their overall best-sellers to date, starting with the W800 and followed by the W890 and W995.

BlackBerry, Samsung, Motorola

Neither Samsung nor Motorola were able to provide feedback on their most popular devices in South Africa by the time of publication.

Research In Motion South Africa declined to say which BlackBerry has proven the most popular locally, directing us instead to the mobile operators.

Most popular cellphones according to operators

The table below shows which devices proved to be the most popular at the various operators.

Cell C Vodacom Virgin
Smartphone – current BlackBerry Curve 9300 BlackBerry Curve 8520 Nokia N8 / Samsung Galaxy S
Any phone – current Samsung E1081T Samsung E1105 Nokia 2690
Of all time Samsung B130 Samsung E250 Samsung E250

Cell C qualified their responses by explaining that the devices listed are based purely on volumes, but that there are a number of top sellers across different price points.

MTN was unable to respond by the time of publication.

Mobility 2011 mobile phone brand usage results

Brand Current usage % (main phone) Future usage % Brand Momentum (future / current)
Nokia 51 48 (U=45, R=52) 0.95
Samsung 28 12 (U=10, R=14) 0.42
LG 5 2 0.37
Blackberry 4 24 (U=29, R=20) 6.1
Motorola 4 1 0.37
Sony-Ericsson 2 3 1.31
HTC 1 2 1.96
iPhone (Apple) 1 3 (U=5, R=1) 4.74
Other 5 5 0.97
U: Urban; R: Rural

Most popular phones in South Africa << Comments and discussion

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
Most popular phones in SA