Thoughts on mobile usage in South Africa

This morning I attended a press conference hosted by FNB on a World Wide Worx study on Mobile Consumer and Mobile Internet use here in South Africa. The study was based on urban and rural users over the age of 16.Mobile Usage

Here are some of their findings that jumped out at me:

80% of urban users use prepaid, 11% contract, 9% top-up contract
94% of rural users use prepaid, 4% contract, 3% top-up contract

I thought that I was one of the few people that still use prepaid. I was clearly wrong…

Nokia still has 50% of mobile market share, Samsung 18%, Blackberry 18% (up from 4% in 18 months), iPhone 1%

I don’t feel so bad anymore bringing out my Nokia between all the shiny new Blackberries. South Africa seems to be the only country in the world where Blackberry use is growing. The parent company, Research in Motion, is in serious trouble elsewhere. According to RIM, SA has the highest penetration of Blackberry messenger: 98% of Blackberry users in South Africa use the Blackberry messenger service.

Buying airtime still the dominant form of mobile banking: 74% of users use it for this purpose, 15% use mobile banking to pay accounts

This is the main thing I use mobile banking for (and checking balances, of course). I’m sure I’m going to be trying account payments in the future….

Facebook up from 22% to 38%, Whatsapp 0% to 26%, Mixit 23%, BBM 3% to 17%, Twitter 6% to 12%, 2Go 5%

Clearly social media use is growing. The cellular networks are losing revenue on voice, but the loss is made up in growth of data use..

41% browse internet on phones overall, 61% of urban users browse on their phones

I thought it would be less, since its a bit scary to browse on prepaid – you don’t know how much of your airtime is going to disappear…

People aged 19 – 40 make up 75% of users of mobile banking

The average per month spend on cellular service is R387 per month on contract and R165 on prepaid. The average overall is R200.

How do you compare?

Do you know what the 2nd most-used feature on mobile phones are in South Africa?

FM Radio! Wonders never cease…

Kevin Mzansi