South Africa has one of the highest cellphone penetration rates in the world. The major cellphone networks have multiple million subscriber bases, generating billions in annual revenue. Besides the cost of cell calls, they are making money from consumer thirst for access to the internet and data. A study released in December 2013 by World Wide Worx revealed that,
- The 19-24 age group, representing students and entrants into the workforce, is abandoning calls faster than any other segment.
- Only 56% of this group's cellphone budget is now spent on calls, down from 66% in mid-2012
- Data spend, on the other hand, [on text messaging and internet surfing and downloading] has increased from 17% to 24%."
- It found a dramatic shift in the trend for the overall market, with call spend dropping from 73% of cellphone budget to 65%, while data spend increased from 12% to 16%. At the beginning of 2010, calls stood at 77% and data at 8%.
- Spending on text messaging remained steady at 13%, while spending on downloading music tracks, which featured for the first time in 2012, doubled from 1% to 2% of the average mobile phone budget.
The survey also reveals substantial shifts in the South African mobile banking environment, with the biggest proportional shift coming in the use of banking apps. From only 1% of all banking customers using banking apps in mid-2012, the figure shot up to 9% in late 2013. Cellphone banking also surged, from 28% in mid-2012 to 37% in late 2013.
The most popular feature used on phones remains the camera, at 73% of mobile users, with FM radio far behind at 51%, and the music player on the phone catching up to FM at 49%.
Tablet usage was measured for the first time in World Wide Worx's latest study, revealing that approximately 5% of South Africa's adult cellphone users also have a tablet. The vast majority use it for internet access (77%) and e-mail (57%), with social media and downloading apps in joint third place (43%).
You must agree that the future of the technology is secure - it will evolve continuously an integrate itself more and more into our daily living. Now here is an interesting phenomenon(from my vantage point): whilst mobile technology has seen a mushrooming of social media platforms, people have become more estranged....I actually believe we spend less time talking to each other despite the platforms available to us. And we must be careful to relegate or reduce deep, meaningful engagement to a tweet, status update or SMS character limitations. These types of communication can never, and God forbid ever, replace face-2-face interaction.
There is nothing quite as exhilarating than a conversation or debate between people, watching the emotional energy and cognitive display and lapping up the energy in-the-space. No amount of technology replaces such dynamics. We must co-exist with technology but let it never replace the need to talk to someone in person. It's not the same thing.
Technical details Info sourced from: http://www.southafrica.info