Nokia is the most popular manufacturer of handsets in the country – in fact, half of all South African mobile phones are made by Nokia. That number has fell slightly since 2010, when Nokia held a 51 per cent market share, but it’s still hardly anything to be sniffed at. Nokia’s market share is projected to diminish slightly, but will remain the top manufacturer in South Africa through to the end of 2013.
In the smartphone arena, meanwhile, BlackBerry is top. Over the last 18 months, RIM’s fortunes have more or less run the opposite way in South Africa to the West. Its share of the whole mobile market has risen from 4 per cent to 18 per cent – putting it level with Samsung, which has fallen from 28 per cent over the period – and it accounts for nearly half of all smartphones sold.
Of the 10m smartphones sold over the period, 4.8m of them were BlackBerry devices – and that looks to set to increase, as a further 16 per cent of mobile owners said they intended to buy a BlackBerry handset next.
“As in other developing markets, the demise of BlackBerry in this country remains a myth,” says World Wide Worx managing director Arthur Goldstuck. “BlackBerry’s continued strength lies in its appeal to the younger market, with the Curve models maintaining a cool image. In the 16-25 age group, the brand has 28 per cent market share.”
And, in another reversal of fate, it’s Android, with 800,000 devices sold, and iOS, at 400 000, which are suffering in South Africa. Things are looking up for Apple in the country, with its market share predicted to increase from one per cent to six per cent over the next 18 months – but that still couldn’t be much further to its dominance in the West.