How often do you use the data connection on your smartphone? And how often do you actually access the internet through your phone?

While many of us couldn’t bear the thought to part with our beloved phones for more than an hour, it might come a surprise that on average, only 40.2% of smartphone users connect to the internet through their phone.

The data stems from a survey conducted by GeoPoll and World Wide Worx, where they asked around 3 500 mobile phone users in five of Africa’s major markets (namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda) questions about their mobile internet usage.

“The most significant finding was that Internet browsing via phones now stands at 40 per cent across these markets, with 51% of respondents in Ghana and 47% in Nigeria reporting that they use their phones to access the internet. South Africa lags behind at 40%, and Kenya (34%) and Uganda (29%) are slowest on the uptake,” the survey revealed.

But fear not fellow South Africans, as we are at least number one in the amount of apps that we download.

The survey indicated that 34% of South Africans make app downloads from the various app stores, while 31% do so in Ghana, 28% in Nigeria, 19% in Kenya and 18% in Uganda.

If you think that 34% for South Africa is fairly low, Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, says that actually points to something better:

“This finding also indicates that mobile broadband infrastructure is more robust in South Africa, despite anecdotal reports of the Internet being used more actively in Nigeria and Kenya. Internet use is far greater in some of these countries in terms of number of people, but substantially lower in terms of intensity of use,” he said in a press statement.

And what is the most widely used phone throughout the five countries surveyed? Well, contrary to popular belief it isn’t Nokia …in case you were wondering.

Just under half of the respondents said that their previous phone was a Nokia model, while only 34% said that they current use one. The trend indicates that Nokia is busy losing its footing on a continent that was once hugely dominated by the Finnish brand.

“The big winner is Samsung, which is currently owned by 17% of respondents, up marginally from 14% ownership previously. When asked what phone will be bought next, the Samsung proportion shot up to 26% – more than a quarter of phone users,” it said.

That is all good and well, but where is Blackberry?

Apparently, BlackBerry’s marketshare is set to rocket from around 6% to a whopping 16% – although this doesn’t necessarily mean the company is going to be selling a vast amount of new handsets. The hand-me-down effect is likely to keep older BlackBerrys in circulation a lot longer as people upgrade, pushing up its overall share as featurephones vanish considerably.

The survey also revealed some other interesting tidbits, like 48% of the respondents used their mobile phones to access Facebook, 45% send SMSes, 41% listen to radio and only 13% use it to access Twitter.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.