News Column

Columinate survey shows increase in smartphone and app usage

July 3, 2014

According to a recent report by online market research agency, Columinate, just over one-third (36%) of smartphone users in South Africa now own a Samsung...

In addition, the survey revealed that there has been a significant increase in the amount of time users are spending on their smartphones. 37% of device owners admitted to using their device every hour of the day that they are awake.

"These results are not surprising when you look at the high numbers of users who are on their phones almost all the time, including during meal times (66%) and while shopping (63%) or socialising (63%)," explains Henk Pretorius, CEO Columinate. "Owing to the developments of mobile internet and apps, the smartphone has become an extension of its user, allowing you to do everything that you used to do on a PC or laptop - email, research, entertainment- and even more, from the palm of your hand wherever you are, at any time."

Whilst they are useful, smartphone apps can also be disruptive. A large number of respondents admitted to using their smartphone while driving (24%), having a conversation (44%) or in a meeting (30%). 65% of users sleep less due to their smartphone engagement.

"Even with the many benefits of using a smartphone, it is clear that some users are experiencing negative consequences as well," cautions Pretorius.

App usage has increased

In the 2011 survey, 19% of the sample was classified as "app veterans", that is, they downloaded their first app more than two years ago. The picture has shifted dramatically in 2014, with 50% of respondents now being classified as app veterans. Instant messaging and social networking apps remain the most popular, a trend that has remained consistent since 2011.

Developers will be pleased to know that consumers' likelihood to pay for apps has increased significantly since 2011. In the original survey, only 39% had ever paid for an app and in 2014 the number of people claiming they have paid for an app before has increased to 45%. That being said, 16% of consumers still claim that they will never pay for an app, while 80% are willing to spend between R1 and R100 for an app, and only a small percentage are willing to spend more than R100 on an app.

74% of respondents agreed strongly that apps have made an impact on their day-to-day life and have proven useful by allowing them to connect with friends and family, navigate, stay abreast of current affairs, and provide entertainment.

About the survey:

This report comes three years after the undertaking of Columinate's preliminary research project to analyse the smartphone and app landscape in South Africa. The original report was commissioned by Vodacom and was used to inform, and eventually launch, the Vodacom app store. The new findings, gathered from a sample of 635 smartphone users (of the same demographic profile as the 2011 study), reveal significant shifts in South African consumers' smartphone preferences and habits, as well as their attitudes towards using apps.

About Columinate

Columinate is a full service market research agency. We offer both quantitative and qualitative research through our innovative online research methodologies. If you are looking for premium and insightful research that is both cost-effective and quick, contact or call 011 782 7246.

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Source: Bizcommunity (South Africa)

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