Smartphones outsell feature phones

TRENDAFRiCA May 8, 2013

For the first time in history, as was predicted in mobile trends for 2013, smartphones are outselling feature phones, according to Native’s monthly mobile report for April.

According to Native, the driver behind this smartphone surge is the emergence of more affordable Android handsets from Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE, edging out dominant mobile players HTC and BlackBerry who have traditionally hogged the smartphone market.

Native, quoting from Memeburn.com, reports that according to research company IDC, smartphone vendors shipped 216.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, which marked the first time more than half (51.6%) of the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones. The market grew 41.6% compared to the 152.7 million units shipped in the same quarter in 2012, but 5.1% lower than the 227.8 million units shipped in the previous quarter. Samsung, followed by Apple, still remains the chief beneficiary of those sales.

Other mobile trends noted by Native this past month:

  • Absa, the last of the big four banks in South Africa, released its mobile banking application. This was hot off the heels of Investec which also launched their own mobile banking app.
  • 22Seven debuted an iPhone application in response to customer requests.
  • Mxit released the number of the top 20 brands on Mxit. SuperSport is the most followed brand overall and for sports, while Standard Bank is the top banking brand and Spar the top retail brand.
  • Coke launched its latest campaign without any TV commercials for the first time. ‘The Ahh Effect’ digital campaign by Wieden+Kennedy targets smartphones especially. The new teenage market is their target.
  • A global survey from BuzzCity, the global mobile advertising network, shows that consumers are now constantly connected and heavily reliant on their mobiles when travelling, with the majority (60%) regarding their mobiles as indispensable.
  • GSMA’s Global Mobile Money Adoption survey for 2012 revealed that 224 million transactions, totalling $4.6 billion, were processed on mobile money platforms in four African countries in one month. The survey by GSMA analyses the state of the mobile money industry in 2012, and shows considerable growth in the number of active mobile money users. More than 30 million people undertook 224.2 million transactions totalling $4.6 billion during the month of June 2012 alone. This exceeds the 196.3 million transactions performed by Paypal customers on average each month during the third quarter of 2012.
  • MoneyGram and First National Bank (FNB) have launched their first mobile money transfer service in Africa, giving FNB account holders throughout South Africa the option of sending and receiving international money transfers using their mobile devices.


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