Samsung is the dominant brand in the mind of urban consumers with instant messaging being the top application

SA Consumer Digital Lifestyle Survey | 11 November 2015

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 choose in the future, nearly a third of the 1500 respondents interviewed in metropolitan areas for BMI-T’s DLP research selected Samsung.

Choice of handsets in the future

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.