Smartphones are still showing healthy growth among South African users, according to InMobi’s Quarterly Mobile Insights Report: South Africa Edition, April to June 2012.

The report shows continued growth in the region and illustrates how consumer behaviour in South Africa is shifting, as they become more reliant on their phones as their primary means of being connected.

Not surprisingly, smartphone penetration continues to grow in South Africa, with a 3% increase from Q1 to Q2 2012, now accounting for 63% of all ad impressions on the InMobi network.

Smartphones are giving people primary access to news, email and social networks, especially those people in lower income brackets who do not have daily access to computers.

While feature phones continue to dominate emerging markets in the rest of Africa, as smartphones gain momentum in Sout Africa, the feature phone market is shrinking in equal measure, down 4% from Q1.

Data also shows that, despite its decline in many other International markets, RIM’s BlackBerry continues to dominate the South African market with steady growth of 5,6% from Q1 this year.

“Given that the majority of the South Africa market – at 50% – is using BlackBerry, with 35% using a feature phone, app developers need strike a balance between creating innovative apps to serve Apple’s iPhone iOS and Google’s Android but still create material that resonates with the right kind of user ,in the right format,” says Isis Nyong’o, vice-president and MD for Africa at InMobi.

A study on how consumers are using their Mobile devices to augment their shopping experiences, recently conducted by InMobi, showed how consumers are increasingly using their cell phones to research things while shopping, and the expressed need among consumers for apps that compare prices, look up product info and share experiences on social networks while shopping is growing. But for now, the mobile web still dominates apps, with 98% of InMobi ad impressions coming from mobile sites with 2% from apps.

Nyong’o adds: “As the smartphone market continues to grow, and the developer community begins to tap deeper into consumer needs and developing trends, opportunities for mobile look to continue their upward spiral in emerging markets.”