Despite its global troubles, Nokia still has 50% of the South African cellphone market of users older than 16 who live in cities and towns, according to a new study. BlackBerry, which is also under pressure, has seen its share rise from 4% to 18% last year, according to the Mobility 2012 research study, compiled by researchers World Wide Worx.
The study found that Samsung's share dropped from 28% to 18% and LG's from 5% to 1%. Chinese phone maker ZTE and Motorola, recently bought by Google, both have 2%. The iPhone, along with HTC and Sony, have 1% market share.
As smartphones increase in market share and prominence their data usage is accounting for more of people's budgets, the study showed.
"The proportion of the average user's cellphone spend on data has increased by half in the past 18 months, from 8% of budget at the end of 2010 to 12% in mid-2012," said World Wide Worx MD, Arthur Goldstuck.
There has been a corresponding drop in voice from 77% to 73%, while SMS spend remains steady at 12%.
"Spend on data is a barometer for the rapid increase both in the number of internet users in South Africa and in the intensity with which experienced users engage with it," said Goldstuck.
Instant messaging has increased most, with the number of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) users growing fivefold in the last 18 months. BBM is now used by 17% of urban adults (up from 3%) and WhatsApp, which works across numerous smartphone operating systems, has grown to 25%.
Facebook usage has grown to 38%, from 22%, Twitter users are now 12% (from 6%), app downloads grew to 24% (from 13%) and browsing rose to 41% (from 33%).
Cellphone banking is done via phone browsers by a third of banking customers, but SMS and USSD are more popular.
Nedbank is to launch its own banking app, as part of a revitalised digital strategy from the bank that launched the first internet banking service in 1997. The app, to be launched on 1 August , will run on smartphones and feature phones. FNB's market-dominating app works only on touchscreen smartphones and tablets.
Nedbank chief information officer Fred Swanepoel said the bank has focused on security, using an authentication system it calls Approve-IT, which was developed for it by Entersekt, from Stellenbosch.
Today, Nedbank launches a financial planning tool called My Financial Life (myfinanciallife.co.za
). With the same secure Yodlee software used by 22Seven, it allows users from any bank to combine a number of accounts (internet banking, credit cards, share-trading, unit trusts and loyalty miles) so they have one consolidated view of these.
Meanwhile, says Goldstuck: "This is only the beginning: the social networking genie is out of the bottle. Businesses have to recognise the trend and begin developing strategies to address it." Source: The Times