SA's top urban phone brands - TechCentral

SA’s top urban phone brands

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

Samsung is the dominant cellphone brand in the minds of urban consumers, according to new research by BMI-TechKnowledge.

When asked what handset they would choose in the future, nearly a third of 1 500 survey respondents interviewed in metropolitan areas selected Samsung.

BlackBerry was placed second, with 20% of respondents selecting the Canadian brand’s phones as a future purchase choice.

Apple came in third place, with 16%, followed by Nokia (13%), Sony (7%) and Huawei (3%).

Respondents’ two most used downloaded applications were WhatsApp and Facebook, across all segments, and made up about 60% of responses. There was a tie for third place between Twitter and Instagram, BMI-T said.

Comparing previous research from two years ago showed that Cell C and Telkom Mobile had taken market share from Vodacom and MTN in the metros, it added. The average monthly spend on a cellphone for voice and data was R210/month.

Respondents with feature phones said the most important considerations when buying a phone were long battery life, camera functionality and Internet connectivity.

Choice of future handsets among urban consumers. Source: BMI-T, 2015

Choice of future handsets among urban consumers. Source: BMI-T, 2015

Features considered the most important on smartphones were the operating system, storage space and data connectivity.

BMI-T said South African smartphone penetration continued to grow rapidly, and was forecast to reach more than 83% of the population (over 16 years old) by 2019 after crossing the 50% mark in 2015.

The findings form part of BMI-T’s recently-released SA Consumer Digital Lifestyle Research Programme, which provides research into PC, tablet, smartphone and Internet usage and activities, along with the video-on-demand and fibre-to-the-home markets.  — © 2015 NewsCentral Media


  1. Good piece and buyer’s the important considerations, features and downloaded apps suggest that purchasers are buying mini-tablets rather than phones.

  2. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Good question…

    From what is usually purported in these meaningless research segmentations; “urban” would categorize a well-to-do “black individual” that would be found in the metropolitan/urban areas…

    …but in reality, what it describes are a debt ridden, for-appearance-sake, living beyond their means so called “black diamonds” and one can find a demographic outside of this segment that has far more disposal income and doesn’t owe the bank money –

    …living in a backroom in Soweto with a PS4 connected to 50″ Sony Bravia and chatting to a friend on an Xperia Z3 about when they should meet to wash their cars at the local car-wash & shisa nyama.

  3. Hi Andrew.

    The study involved face-to-face survey of 1500 consumers in the main metros in South Africa (Jo’burg, Pretoria, Durban & Cape Town). The candidates were representative of all household income brackets, age and population groups.

    For more details on the survey methodology please check out ‘Digital Lifestyle Predictor Programme 2015’ on the BMI-T company website.

  4. Thanks, Tim. I’ll do that. It would be interesting to see the correlation between the future purchase intent in this research and the actual sales share of these various brands from GfK. I’d warrant that the sales share of brands like ZTE, Huawei, and the Vodacom branded phones will be significantly higher than reflected in purchase intent.

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