Samsung is the dominant handset brand in the minds of urban consumers, with instant messaging being the top application used.

Globally the race is on to dominate the emerging low-end smartphone market, where much of the new growth will come from. South African smartphone penetration continues to grow rapidly, and is forecast to reach more than 83% of the population (over 16 years old) by 2019 after crossing the 50% mark in 2015, according to BMI-TechKnowledge’s recently-released SA Consumer Digital Lifestyle Research Programme (DLP).
When asked what handset they would chose in the future, nearly a third of the 1 500 respondents interviewed in metropolitan areas for BMI-T’s DLP research selected Samsung.
Users would choose Samsung (29%), then BlackBerry (20%), Apple (16%), Nokia (13%), Sony (7%), Huawei (3%), HTC (2%) and LG (2%).
BMI-T’s Digital Lifestyle Measure (DLM) classifies consumers into four groups – DLM1 (low-tech), DLM2 (less-tech), DLM2 (more-tech) and DLM4 (high-tech) based on the extent of their digital lifestyles.
Features considered the most important on current smartphones are the operating system; followed by the storage space and then the data connectivity.
The most important features on a non-smartphone cellphone were long battery life, camera functionality and internet connectivity.
Respondents’ two most used downloaded applications were WhatsApp and Facebook, across all segments, and made up around 60% of responses. The third app tied between Twitter and Instagram.
Comparing DLP 2013 and DLP 2015 indicates that Cell C and Telkom Mobile/8ta have both taken market share from Vodacom and MTN in the metros.
The average monthly spend on a cellphone for voice and data was R210 per month, with DLM1s spending R148 per month and DLM4s spending R449 per month.
If price were not an issue, 35% of respondents said they would consider a ‘phablet’, with the higher the DLM the more likely respondents would be to consider it.
These findings form part of BMI-T’s recently-released SA Consumer Digital Lifestyle Research Programme (DLP), based on metropolitan surveys of 1 500 respondents. DLP provides research into PC, tablet, smartphone and internet usage and activities, with an additional focus this year on video on demand (VOD) and fibre to the home (FTTH).