Most popular smartphone apps in South Africa

Online shopping app Temu is the most popular free smartphone app among iOS and Android users in South Africa.

On the other hand, the most popular paid apps for Android and iOS users are Game Booster 4x Faster Pro and Shadowrocket, respectively.

MyBroadband searched the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for the most popular free and paid apps in South Africa.

Temu appears to have rocketed to the top for both operating systems, as it wasn’t featured in our latest list of the most popular smartphone apps.

However, this is likely because the online shopping platform only launched in South Africa in mid-January 2024.

Other notable apps common to the Android and iOS top-ten lists for free apps include WhatsApp, TikTok, Capitec Bank, Vodapay, and Shein (stylised SHEIN).

Notably, Shein moved up to the fifth-place spot from sixth on the Google Play Store while it dropped from sixth to ninth on the Apple App Store.

Shein is another online shopping app that has seen a surge in popularity in South Africa. It focuses primarily on fashion accessories and clothing.

Editorial credit: Rokas Tenys /

The only banking app common to both operating systems’ top-ten free apps is the Capitec Bank app. It holds the sixth-place spot on Android and seventh place on iOS.

Regarding paid apps, three apps are common to the App Store and Google Play Store’s top ten lists.

These include The Wonder Weeks, FL Studio Mobile, and Sasol eBirds Southern Africa.

The Wonder Weeks is a parenting guide focusing on babies’ mental development. It holds second place on both app stores and costs R114.99 for Android users and R119.99 for iOS users.

Similarly, the FL Studio Mobile app is third for both operating systems. Android users pay R99 to buy the app, while iOS users pay R19.99.

Sasol eBirds Southern Africa is the most expensive of the three common apps at R379.99 through the Google Play Store and R399.99 on the Apple App Store.

Another birding-oriented app — Roberts Bird Guide 2 — features in the top-ten list for Android. It holds sixth place and costs R499 to buy.

The most popular free and paid smartphone apps for iOS and Android in South Africa are listed in the table below.

Most popular free smartphone apps in South Africa
Rank Android iOS
1 Temu Temu
2 WhatsApp VodaPay
3 Facebook Lite Showmax
4 TikTok TikTok
5 SHEIN WhatsApp
6 Capitec Bank Facebook
7 TikTok Lite Capitec Bank
8 WhatsApp Business Instagram
9 VodaPay SHEIN
10 Proxy Browser CapCut
Most popular paid smartphone apps in South Africa
Rank Android iOS
1 Game Booster 4x Faster Pro Shadowrocket
2 The Wonder Weeks The Wonder Weeks
3 FL Studio Mobile FL Studio Mobile
4 Torque Pro Difela Tsa Sione by ZolApps
5 e-Sword: Bible Study to Go Oldify — Old Face App
6 Roberts Bird Guide 2 Electronic Device Detector
7 S4U Assen Hybrid Watch Face Sasol eBirds Southern Africa
8 Sasol eBirds Southern Africa Lab Alpha: Medical Converter
9 Floral Serenity Watch Face Disk Decipher
10 Power Amp Full Version Unlocker Difela Tsa Sione

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Most popular smartphone apps in South Africa