The best-selling smartphone in South Africa in 2018 was the Mobicel Astro.
The device, available for R429 from Pep, was listed by Counterpoint as the most popular phone in the country as part of its latest report on the local smartphone sector.
Counterpoint added that Mobicel became the second-largest smartphone brand in South Africa during 2018. Samsung took top spot, claiming 32% of the market.
Cheap vs expensive
While many readers will have no problem naming the most expensive smartphones on the market today – like the Apple iPhone Xs, Samsung Galaxy S10, and Huawei P20 Pro – they will be hard-pressed to name the devices which the majority of the local market will purchase.
This is emphasised by the fact that, according to Counterpoint’s report, iPhones made up only 5% of the local market.
And while Samsung took top spot in terms of market share, this was thank to devices like the Galaxy J2 Core – not the flagship Galaxy Note or S range.
This is due to the fact that these smartphones are considerably cheaper than what is available at the top-end of the market and provide smart functionality through operating systems such as Android Go.
iPhone Xs vs Astro
To put into perspective the gulf between the smartphones that most South Africans use and the top-of-the-range devices available, we compared the Mobicel Astro and Apple iPhone Xs.
The Astro runs Android Go and was unveiled in South Africa in 2018, available with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 4-inch LCD display.
At the other end of the spectrum, the iPhone Xs has 4GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. It also features the A12 Bionic processor, which has made the new iPhones the most powerful in the world.
The operating systems on the devices are also vastly different.
Apple’s iOS 12 is the operating system on the iPhone Xs and features support for the latest applications and features – such as facial recognition.
Mobicel’s Astro runs Android Go: a lightweight version of Android which is designed for smartphones will little RAM, but which supports a range of “Go” versions of apps. This includes Google Go and Google Assistant Go.
The table below details the specifications and pricing of the devices.
|Specifications||Mobicel Astro||iPhone Xs|
|OS||Android Go||iOS 12|
|Display||4-inch LCD (800 x 480)||5.8-inch AMOLED (2,436 x 1,125)|
|Processor||1.3GHz Quad-Core||Apple A12 Bionic|
|Rear camera||2MP||12MP + 12MP|
|Connectivity||802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Cellular||3G (GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA)||LTE Cat.16|