Apple vs Android vs Blackberry: Smartphone and tablet PC trends in SA

BMI-T recently conducted an online survey on MyBroadband.co.za in order to gauge tablet PC and smartphone trends among South African early adopters.

Ryan Smit, digital consumer unit head at BMI-T, explained that MyBroadband’s demographic includes highly technologically minded people which represent the early adopters of technology rather than the main stream mass market.

The survey had 1,500 respondents, BMI-T said, adding that the trends among early adopters are not necessarily indicative of what will happen in the mass market.

Ryan Smit, digital consumer unit head at BMI-T, described early adopters as the “tip of the wave” and explained that their perceptions are fairly fickle.

How likely are you to get a tablet PC?

BMI-T asked respondents how many already have tablet PCs, and whether they are looking at getting tablet PCs in the next few months.

Among the respondents, 13.1% said they have tablet PC now, with 24.1% saying they plan to get a tablet in 3 months, 36.3% in 6 months, 53.6% in 12 months, and 71.6% in 24 months.

Smartphone vendors rated

Respondents were also asked how highly they rate smartphone vendors. Unsurprisingly, Apple came out on top. The ranking was as follows:

  1. Apple – 65.4%
  2. HTC  – 55.7%
  3. BlackBerry – 44.3%
  4. Samsung – 41.3%
  5. Nokia – 26.5%
  6. Motorola – 10.4%
  7. LG – 5.2%

Service provider smartphone offerings

The smartphone offerings of South Africa’s service providers were also rated. Vodacom received the highest rating at 54.8%, followed by MTN at 48.4%. The ratings then take a sharp drop with Cell C at 23.3%, Nashua Mobile at 19.4%, Autopage at 14.8%, and other service providers steadily getting lower ratings thereafter.

Smit said that 8ta wasn’t included in the survey as the new operator wasn’t around when they developed the survey.

Past, present, future handset choices

BMI-T also asked the respondents which handset they used previously, which they use currently, and which they plan to use in the future.

Here their findings correlate with those which World Wide Worx released earlier this year (2011), with Nokia’s market share amongst early adopters declining and BlackBerry, Apple, and Android manufacturers’ market share increasing.

Manufacturer Previous Current Future
Nokia 40.70% 23.40% 6.90%
Samsung 14.80% 11.80% 16.20%
Motorola 3.50% 1.50% 1.60%
Sony 14.80% 5.80% 2.90%
HTC 10.50% 15.10% 17.50%
BlackBerry 6% 23.60% 20.20%
Apple 6.30% 16.20% 30.80%
LG 1.90% 1.30% 1.00%
Other 1.40% 1.30% 2.80%

Interestingly, the current sentiment among early adopters seems to indicate a slight decline in the favour BlackBerry has enjoyed in South Africa, while the aspiration to Apple’s iPhone is quite high among the respondents.

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Apple vs Android vs Blackberry: Smartphone and tablet PC trends in SA