Smartphone Habits by South Africans

smartphone brands

A study conducted now shows how South Africans make use of their phones. This study was conducted by GeoPoll and it focuses on what applications and features are used often. The study also shows how they are paid for every month. The top adopter of mobile technology in Sub-Saharan Africa is South Africa. In South-Africa, it was found that 51% of adults own a smartphone and 40% own a basic mobile phone. South Africa has around 46.9 million smartphone subscriptions. These include users who have multiple phones.

Data Usage

South Africa’s high smartphone usage is plagued by very high data costs. Mobile phone penetration also grows in the country, as well as transport, messaging apps, streaming, and more. The high data cost has resulted in protests, but there hasn’t been any improvement so far. Recently, it seems Data cost in South Africa is more expensive than other African nations. Countries like Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria seem to have fewer data costs compared to South Africa.

This development has forced several poorer customers to buy smaller data packages due to cost. Data packages also come with many restrictions, which limit their capabilities and access to the internet. This data usage remains a challenge for users. Most South Africans use more than one phone; this could be based on several reasons. Reasons like one phone for personal use and the other for business. The other could also be a backup device, to store your data temporarily for it not to get lost when the main device gets damaged.

Good Mobile Phone

Samsung has proven to be the most used mobile phone brand in South Africa. Samsung has garnered 49% market share and Huawei at 27%. Most users also desire an iPhone, but to its cost, they were not purchased. Also, Samsung Galaxy S10 has become the most wanted model of Samsung. South Africans also look for battery life and storage space on a mobile phone. A high RAM and a good quality camera are also features considered.

The majority of users spend between $6.60 to $33 per month, while 48% of South Africans spend between $6.60 to $16.50 per month. Only less spend over $130 per month and also the study show males spend more than females on mobile phone services. The vast majority of their citizen use prepaid while some use post-paid or contract. Many mobile phone users also have more than one Sim cards. These Sim cards are purchased from different operators.


The cost of data and network coverage are the biggest factors in choosing a mobile phone network. More users tend to use a mobile operator with affordable tariff plans or with plans that suit their needs.  Application usage is also a great deal in South Africa, this feature determines how the data consumed.

Popular applications like Whatsapp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are used mostly in South Africa. Other applications like Bolt and Uber also dominate the market. Uber is the most popular taxi-hailing application, while YouTube is the most popular streaming application. It also shows that a vast majority of South Africans access the internet through their smartphones while a small minority access the internet through a computer.





Related Posts