How Smart Phones are changing South African Consumers’ Lives


Samsung remains the most popular brand by far, according to the SA Mobile Report 2017

Smartphones have changed the lives of South African consumers and enabled them to be more connected than ever. Mobile devices are changing the way adverts are viewed, the audiences that are targeted and even how the media and publishing industry promotes the content.

The 2017 South Africa Mobile Report is based on a survey of nearly 5 000 mobile internet users across the country. One insight in the smartphones stood head and shoulders above the rest: when it comes to the market’s favourite brand, Samsung is four times more popular with consumers than the closest competitor.

“Clearly, people recognise Samsung as a leader in the market and use our devices because they most closely match their needs as consumers. Samsung has always focused on innovation and as such the phone display and user interface are optimised to make browsing the internet easy as possible,” says Craige Fleischer, Director Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa.

The importance of mobile connectivity to consumers is highlighted by the fact that some 78% of those surveyed indicated that the last time they accessed the Internet via their phone was just the day before. In addition, 35% reach for their cell phone to browse the internet first thing in the morning and a further 36% browse on their phone while also watching TV. Some 13% even admitted to connecting while in the bathroom.

“The research shows that mobile has well and truly become a daily part of our lives. We rely on them more than we realise. Businesses marketing to their consumers need to keep this in mind when developing their  strategies.” says Greg Mason, Regional Lead at Effective Measure Sub Saharan Africa.

One of the most interesting statistics was the increasing number of South Africans who are happy using their phone to purchase items. Everything from airtime (47%) to apps (25%), books (11%) and concert or event tickets (10%) has been purchased by users in the past year, with a total of two thirds of consumers admitting to having purchased something using their phone.

“The lives of South African consumers are clearly changing as they become more connected than ever. Recognising this, Samsung continues to innovate and deliver better and more sophisticated devices to its users, to enable them to access and enjoy the Internet in new and exciting ways,” concludes Fleischer.

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