Although Nokia and BlackBerry are slipping in developed markets, both brands continue to be wildly successful in SA.
This is according to a market research report released this week by World Wide Worx. The research shows Nokia remains the most popular cellphone brand among SA’s urban residents aged 16 and over. Moreover, the Finnish manufacturer has maintained its local market share over the past 18 months. At the end of 2010, Nokia had 51% of the market. Today, it has 50%.
World Wide Worx expects Nokia to retain its position as the most popular mobile brand in SA through to the end of next year, albeit with a slight reduction in market share.
Research in Motion’s BlackBerry brand has also flourished during the period, with its market share leaping from 4% to 18% in 18 months. In doing so, the company has drawn level with Samsung. Although Samsung held 28% of the market at the end of 2010, this has since declined to 18%.
World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck says BlackBerry’s continued strength “lies in its appeal to the younger market”; in the 16-25 age group BlackBerry enjoys 28% market share. “As in other developing markets, the demise of BlackBerry in this country remains a myth,” he says.
Of the approximately 10m smartphones sold in SA, about 4,8m are BlackBerry devices a further 4m are Nokias. The report says these Nokia phones are mostly running the Symbian operating system as the new Lumia range of handsets that use the Windows Phone operating system have yet to make a significant impact.
Smartphones running Google’s Android operating system amount to just 800 000 devices, with the bulk of these being Samsung and HTC phones. Apple’s iPhone, meanwhile, accounts for fewer than 400 000 units in SA, or around 1% of local mobile market share.
A large number of respondents to the survey indicated they intended to buy an iPhone, but Goldstuck says previous studies have demonstrated the gap that exists between consumers’ intentions and their eventual actions.
He says the 2010 survey suggested that Apple should have 3% market share by now, but that this “simply did not materialise”.
“This shows the extent to which the iPhone remains an aspirational phone, but one which is out of reach, while the BlackBerry represents a reachable aspiration,” Goldstuck says.
Although BlackBerry and Nokia continue to thrive in SA, Motorola’s market share has plummeted from 11% 18 months ago to 2% now and the company has dropped from being SA’s third most popular handset brand to fifth place.
The prospects for Motorola, LG Electronics and Sony are “bleak”, according to Goldstuck, with all three brands expected to drop below 1% share “unless something drastic happens”. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media