There is no doubt that smartphones are taking over from their less feature-laden predecessors, the ironically-named featurephones. In fact 2013 was the first year in which more smartphones were sold worldwide than feature phones.
While South Africa is of course undergoing the same change, it has taken some time for the sales trend here to mirror that of the rest of the world. According to GfK, more smartphones were sold in South Africa than feature phones for the first time ever in March with a slim 51% – 49% split. The change represents a massive shift in the South African landscape where just 12 months earlier feature phones made up 66% of total phone sales.
According to Gfk, the rise in March’s sales was directly as a result of Huawei’s launch of a new cheap smartphone which was more than likely the Android-powered Huawei Ascend Y220, which at R449 undercuts even the crazy-cheap MTN Steppa by 10%.
The victory for smartphones was short-lived however with April’s sales showing a return to the status quo with smartphone sales down to 47% again. It won’t be long before they beat out the featurephone rabble again without the need of a specific, well-received, cheap model launching in the country, which we think is fantastic news.