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How clued up are South African mobile users really?

Posted by: ShackledMuse


I've read a couple of surveys and articles regarding internet usage on mobile phones, mobile applications and advancements, etc, and I think the "statistics" we get from these guys are not quite accurate.

Mobile usage and users? I've reached two conclusions:


  • Either the articles and surveys are not accurate.

Take the MTN ad, for example. What is a megabyte? And nobody knows. I'm pretty sure a megabyte is not an Uhm. Is this true? Are there really so many people out there who can't explain what a megabyte is? I asked a couple of friends to explain what a megabyte is, and the answers where quite hilarious. These people all knew how to explain it, yet they gave answers, like: a huge mosquito bite, a big hamburger and something you put on a floppy disc. Lmao.

Sarcasm of course. We know phones. Maybe the people who partook in the surveys are just.... being sarcastic. Either that, or lets move on to the second conclusion.

  • Mobile users are DUMB!

Now according to the Mobile Internet in South Africa 2010 study, (who represents 16 million South Africans)

"While 28% of the urban cellular market is using mobile instant messaging (IM), as many as 65% have the capacity on their phones, meaning that only 4.5-million out of 10.5-million potential mobile IM users actually use it. In many cases, an application has been installed on the phone, and the owner may even have registered to use the service, but is not in fact a user. And, while 60% of users in this market have phones that can browse the Internet, only 21% report that they use this form of mobile Internet access."

Personally, I prefer the first conclustion. I highly doubt all those millions of users are  unaware of everything they can do with their phones. 

What do you think:

  1. The surveys and studies dont show us the bigger picture
  2. Or South African mobile users are just not that bright.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by sgb, May 28, 2010
I know my phone can do far more than i use it for (e.g browsing). But I am not interested. I do not want to be available 24 hours per day. Nothing is that important that I have to browse when I am out having coffee or in the shops. The only reason i have all these features is: SA's cell phone companies charge for a new phone whenever you take out or renew your contract. You cannot get a discount by keeping your old phone. So, on principle, I get the most expensive phone I can.
And then use it for talking and sms and occasional photos.
written by Ewald, September 28, 2010
I have a wonderful Nokia 6680 with all the features I [or most other users] ever want. I use it on my Topup 75 contract instead of the cheaper model which is still in its box. The 6680 is 4 years + old and I do not need or want a new phone [perhaps a new battery in future]. Why do cellphone companies force a new phone on me when I upgrade. Whatever reason could there ever be to leave me with no choice but to pay for a new unwanted phone when I renew my contract. The only thing cellphone companies stand to loose is the profit on a sale for an article which is in many cases not required. Surely this is robbery. The cellphone contract should leave the choice to the user regarding his choice of phone and separate the hardware from the service element if required. I know that prepaid is the alternative, but why penalize the user with more expensive calls?

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