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    Emerging markets switch on to gadgets

    Consumers in South Africa and other emerging economies continued to be the key drivers and purchasers of consumer electronic goods last year, a study by Accenture has found.

    The 2012 Accenture Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage Report found that emerging-market consumers' love affair with electronic devices continued in 2011.

    The research, based on a September 2011 survey of more than 10000 consumers across 10 countries, showed consumers are connecting in more ways and on multiple devices, consuming more content and increasingly doing so on the go.

    The report referred to a new era of "hypermobility".

    Fernando Usera, the managing director of communications, media and technology at Accenture, said although trends identified in the study are encouraging, governments should take steps to ensure that positive trends are entrenched.

    "There is a movement towards technology with no boundaries and government needs to facilitate this as it will ensure a quantum leap in society," he said.

    The report found a market shift in the purchasing of devices. Consumers from the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa now lead the growth. With the exception of India, consumers in urban areas of emerging markets are spending a greater percentage of their annual income on devices than their counterparts in developed countries.

    The report found that smartphones were the one device that South Africans bought with more gusto than consumers in other emerging and developed markets during 2011, making the country one of the most dynamic smartphone hubs in the world.

    "More urban consumers in South Africa have smartphones than in any other country. For instance, 75% of urban South Africans own smartphones, compared to 20% of customers in Japan. While demand for smartphones is certainly strong in South Africa, Russia had the greatest growth in ownership year on year, reporting 34% growth in those who own smartphones since 2010."

    Source: Business Times

    Source: I-Net Bridge

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