According to a report from World Wide Worx and Student Brands, who conducted the SA High-Tech Student 2013 study, South Africa’s students are addicted to social media.
The admission comes from 59% of students surveyed. And 85% of students in the survey feel that smartphones, the internet, and social media are valuable tools when it comes to studying. 83% feel that those things enhance their lives. Curiously, 96% of South African students surveyed choose Facebook as their preferred social media tool, while only 70% use Twitter. This comes after Facebook admitted, earlier this week, that use among teens might be declining, according to its statistics. Despite being ragged by tech-savvy users, Google+ has a healthy 47% share among students.
Backing up the data about the internet and social media being useful for studies, the report found that 68% of students connect to the internet using their mobile phones, 61% using laptops, and 50% using desktop computers – mostly those supplied by universities and colleges. Meanwhile, tablets only have a 20% share, but that could change as more institutions start providing learning material for those devices. Three major universities (University of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Pretoria) have already mandated that by 2015 all first-year students are required to have either a tablet or laptop, something that should make device manufacturers happy.
Internet access is also a hot topic, and it was found that 60% of students use on-campus wireless, but only 40% use 3G, and 39% are happy to run up the mobile data bill on their smartphone. It is expected, according to the report, that the next 24 months will see a full migration to wireless hotspots: along with the mandatory tablets and laptops, 2015 will be the year all universities have to provide free wireless access to students.
The devices enabling their addictions and studies were also discussed. The study shows that 40% of students would like an iPhone as their next mobile communications devices, while Samsung’s Galaxy lineup is desired by 29% of the survey’s respondents. Presumably the 15% who want BlackBerry devices are still clinging to the notion of instant email and BBM, or simply haven’t followed the news of that company’s fate.
Meanwhile, the current statistics for mobile devices owned by those surveyed show a market share of 57% BlackBerry, 20% Nokia, 14% Samsung, and 5% iPhone. This does show how aspirational – and expensive – Apple’s much-desired device is, and that Samsung, with a range of affordable devices, already has a foothold.
Arthur Goldstuck, MD of WorldWideWorx, points out that the current ownership statistics don’t matter that much, and the more important data is what a user’s next purchase will be.