You’d be forgiven if you thought that the favourite phone among South Africans was Samsung or Huawei or even Apple.
MTN and Vodacom, the two most popular mobile networks in South Africa, conducted a poll, factoring in affordability and defining features.
The results show that the Hisense U961 – priced at an affordable R999 – is the most widely used phone in South Africa. Other favourites who made it to the list include the Mobicel Rebel and Mobicel Astro.
Samsung does feature on the list, with the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Plus and the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime landing in the fourth and fifth spot respectively. All the phones in the Top 5 cost no more than R1 000.
It’s interesting to note that even though Samsung, Apple and Huawei are the three best-selling brands in the world, only Samsung is included in the top 5 of the most popular phones in South Africa.
And while Samsung is known for launching one flagship phone after the other, the mobile giant also offers adequate specifications and features in entry-level smartphone models, while Apple and Huawei do not.
However, the online service QuotesAdvisor.com analyzed its website traffic.
The results suggest that the majority of smartphones that visit the website are Apple iPhones; which altogether surpass the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime.
“From a total of 13 025 smartphones, 24% (3 172) are an Apple, followed by Samsung with 17% (2 166) and Huawei with 7% (925),” the Quotes Advisor team explained.
Deciding factors among South Africans
Local smartphone brands’ shipments in South Africa grew 33% year-on-year in 2018, with Mobicel being the leading contributor, showing that Mobicel is the fastest growing affordable smartphone.
Mobicel’s Astro was the top-selling smartphone in SA during 2018, which helped the company raise its market share. While higher-end phones dominate the advertising sector, they simply aren’t affordable.
Quotes Advisor explains: “It is clear that the affordability made the Hisense U961 popular in the South African market. Affordability has been considered as the key reason for rising smartphone sales in the country.”
Other than affordable, South Africans taking the poll also factored in what their phones would be used for. Our most popular activities are as follows:
- Making calls – 59%
- Receiving calls – 44
- Accessing the internet – 40%
- Accessing applications – 21%.
While making and receiving calls is something that everything smartphone can do, the differentiating factor was Android Go. Three out of the top five smartphones sold in South Africa use Android Go.
It’s a stripped down version of Android, meant specifically to run on entry-level smartphones. It’s also instrumental to how South Africans use their phones, from downloading, installing and using apps.
According to IAB SA’s South African Social Media Landscape report, WhatsApp was the most used app among Android phone users. Other apps on the Top 10 list include Facebook, Instagram, Capitec’s banking app, and Uber.
“All of these apps are supported by Android Go, which makes this mobile operating system the largest smartphone market in South Africa; and, naturally, it makes the smartphones that use this operating system popular as well.”
South African Mobile Networks
The high demand for smartphones is mainly driven not only by the reasonable prices of smartphones, but also by cheaper 4G mobile data plans by mobile networks.
Most of South Africa’s mobile service providers offer discounted bundles and tariff plans. This allows the majority of the South African population access to the Internet and the myriad of services that come with it.
According to MyBroadband, South Africa’s two biggest mobile companies Vodacom and MTN have retained their leads – with 43.1 million and 30.2 million users, respectively. The active subscribers for each network are as follows:
- Vodacom 43.1 million
- MTN 30.2 million
- Cell C 16.3 million
- Telkom 5.2 million
In conclusion, South Africans consider in price, available features, and the affordability of 4G mobile data plans when purchasing smartphones. In that regard, Hisense is the undisputed king.
Moreover, it seems that the global rule of the best-selling smartphone brands worldwide – which offers all the latest technology in high-end devices – does not hold in South Africa.
H/t: Quotes Advisor