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RLabs Mobile Survey Report


So we’ve got our first results in from our Mobile Phone Survey where we had more than 5,000 users responding and completing our mobile questionnaire. The results shows a number of interesting developments in the Mobile Phones space in South Africa including:

- BlackBerry’s dominance as mobile phone mostly desired.
- The demise of some mobile phone operators and brands
- Increase of Mobile Internet usage and Mobile Chat amongst South Africans
- How South African Mobile Phone users prefer to pay for their mobile phone connectivity and the average spending by users.

You can download the Mobile Survey Presentation Report here and bi-monthly reports and research will be published via the RLabs Research Institute.

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25 Responses so far.

  1. Chris M says:

    Awesome slideshow and great results.

    Question: Do you think the desire for BlackBerry’s is steered by pricing factors? In other words, an iPhone is hugely expensive in comparison.

  2. admin says:

    @ChrisM definitely the reason why iPhone is not as popular. BB did well by dropping their price and making it accessible to the youth market especially. It still carries the status of a business and exclusive phone but yet affordable.

    Perhaps also an are where more media companies should focus their energies on when it comes to Apps? BB Apps seems to be secondary options to the iPhone ones :-)

  3. Chris M says:

    Yeh, BlackBerry did a good job at positioning their devices as business devices at great prices. Compared to most iPhone’s, Nokia’s and Android devices, they’re relatively cheap, but for emailing and texting they’re excellent.

    Apps wise.. Couldn’t agree more, design apps for iPhone’s in the South African market is a bit crazy, the audience is far too small. Building apps for BlackBerry is what people should be doing, but Apple’s marketing around the App Stores has been incredibly good and it’ll take time for people to see other App Stores as viable options. It’s a shame Nokia’s OVI store wasn’t done well, that doesn’t help the argument at all.

  4. admin says:

    Fully agree with you @Chris M:-)

    >>>>
    Chris M
    Yeh, BlackBerry did a good job at positioning their devices as business devices at great prices. Compared to most iPhone’s, Nokia’s and Android devices, they’re relatively cheap, but for emailing and texting they’re excellent.

    Apps wise.. Couldn’t agree more, design apps for iPhone’s in the South African market is a bit crazy, the audience is far too small. Building apps for BlackBerry is what people should be doing, but Apple’s marketing around the App Stores has been incredibly good and it’ll take time for people to see other App Stores as viable options. It’s a shame Nokia’s OVI store wasn’t done well, that doesn’t help the argument at all.

  5. Chris M says:

    I’m a huge iPhone fan – I worked at a mobile development company which introduced me to about 50 different phones and of all the phones, the iPhone (for me) was the best of the bunch. However, costs considered, the BB is a great choice and I’ve no doubt that their market place (apps) will evolve very quickly as developers realise the number of users.

    Let’s see what happens :)

  6. Aslam Levy says:

    Nokia’s Dominance pre Blackberry and iPhone is still holding up well in South Africa.

    I would be interested to see this chart in 2 years when:
    - The current Nokia users are forced to upgrade (wanting new tech, cellphone reaching end of lifespan). Will they stay with Nokia and it’s then Windows Mobile OS
    - The BB desire is in full effect
    - Their are more good options from Android products
    - iPhone 3GS’s move lower in price point.
    - Users look for a ecosystem not just a great handset

  7. admin says:

    @Chris M I do hope though that BB put resources into getting that Eco System up in SA and definitely an interesting space to watch :-) I do agree that there is something special about the iPhone but yet it is only targeted at a very exclusive and specific group of people.

  8. admin says:

    @Aslam I do agree but any thought given to the cheaper Chinese handsets flooding the African markets?

    Apple definitely have the ECO system going for them but waiting in anticipation to see Nokia’s response to the BB invasion of their market :-)

  9. Aslam Levy says:

    Well, the cheaper Chinese handsets have 2 things going for them, and that is their price and unbelievable fast “design till market” timelines

    They will adapt very quickly to meet the consumer need and offer it at a low price point.

    Their downfall however is that they tend to be copycats and heavily hardware focussed. I’d like to see more innovation from them.

  10. Flash Games says:

    Thank you..really informative!!

  11. admin says:

    We will be posting some more insights into youth (some quotes too) and their blackberrys over the next few days that we’ve not shared in the above results.

  12. Baudrillard says:

    The move to Blackberry is mirrored in the UK and South America amongst young people as well. It has a cool factor that goes beyond the app-centric US-focussed alternatives. It’s worth checking out Tomi Ahonen’s analysis of what’s been happening.

  13. admin says:

    Thank you for your feedback and we will definitely have a look at Tomi’s analysis of what has been happening. It is just interesting to see how some of the mobile phone market leaders are under threat with this new wave of adoption by Digital Natives.

  14. [...] not BlackBerry is the most desired mobile phone brand in South Africa according to research done by RLabs Research Institute. BlackBerry: South Africa's most desired mobile [...]

  15. Darryl says:

    I personally hate Black Berries. Black Berries are for business, pish posh, its cause they got a QWERTY keyboard, email and BBM.. You on BBM so much you get distracted and do not DO business. I love my Samsung star, good quality, does all what a BB does and more, you just need to know how to set it up, and ive got it to an art.

  16. admin says:

    Thanks for the comment @Darryl and Samsung do have some interesting devices on the market. Just interesting that large number of young people especially are going for the BB brand. Surely they must be doing something right?

  17. Darryl says:

    I have to say that it is a lot to do with advertising, I havent seen 1 iPhone advert on TV yet at primetime at 7PM there is always a Black Berry advert, so I would have to say its advertising.. You should ask those 5000 people if they know what a iPhone looks like. That would be interesting I would guess half wouldnt know what it is.
    P.s.Thank you for the slide show, very cool.

  18. Aslam Levy says:

    Darryl does bring up a great point. The Survey does great to show current Mobile phone use and what they want to buy in future. But how much of this lead by marketing and word of mouth overriding the best device for the user’s need.

    An example of superior marketing(brainwashing) is when I recently took my iPhone4 out of my pocket only to have my cousin ask me “Why dont you get a Blackberry?”…. He’s got a BB Bold.. I had to start showing him the Google Maps, HD Video, 3D Gaming, unified email before he realised how good the iPhone was.

    So, perhaps a suggestion for your next round of questions
    - If you had no financial restrictions which phone would you buy
    - Which phone do you think has the best messaging
    - Which phone has the best Mapping features
    - Which phone has the best Gaming options
    - Which phone has the internet browser

    I am aware that you are trying to keep these surveys short, but that’s just my 2c :)

  19. Darryl says:

    What happened to all the comments, I cannot see them now.

  20. Darryl says:

    @ Aslam, you have an Iphone? Im jealous. How about this though if your phone got lost or stolen, which phone would matter, like for me if I had aBlack Berry I would be upset sure but IF I had a Iphone and it got lost orstolen I would cry… ITS that great, losing all my apps and stuff.Be independant, think for yourself, I sometimes still rock a nokia 3330, first phone I GOT.. and you know what it never drops a call and signal quality is great and you wanna chat? send an SMS.. remember those?

  21. admin says:

    @Darryl sure the Nokia 3330 was a good phone and many good variations followed thereafter. On another note the iPhone is more than just a phone, it has an entire world built around it with its App store, iTunes etc. which makes losing the phone so much easier to retrieve applications you have lost.

    @Aslam thank you for those question suggestions and we will consider it for future survey’s we will be doing.

  22. chadwin says:

    Blackberry took sometime to gain some traction in the SA market but now that it has it seems everyone is getting a BB. Besides the cost being a major selling point i think Blackberry messenger is a huge appealing drawcard but with current rumors( http://bit.ly/eWUPKe ) regarding the blackberry messenger this might all change…

  23. admin says:

    Thanks for your comment @Chadwin and definitely opening up BBM to other Mobile OS will change the playing field again. We are seeing BB getting lots of traction in Asian markets as well and would be interesting to follow its growth and see how long it will be able to maintain it.

  24. [...] with JamiiX started its 2nd Mobile Report for 2011. Our first Mobile report is available here. The focus of the report will be on the response of youth (13 – 35) in South Africa to Mobile [...]

  25. [...] with JamiiX started its 2nd Mobile Report for 2011 (Our first Mobile report is available here). The focus of the report will be on the response of youth (aged 13 – 35) in South Africa to [...]

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