Smart­phone boom

CityPress - - T# -

smart­phone mar­ket

South Africa’s is boom­ing, sur­pass­ing all fore­casts in the past year. And Pep Stores is lead­ing the pack. The re­tail chain sold a record­break­ing 6.7 mil­lion pre­paid phones last year – ac­count­ing for half of all phones sold on a pre­paid ba­sis in South Africa.

This makes Pep the lead­ing re­tailer of hand­sets in South Africa.

Writ­ing for mark­lives.com, au­thor­i­ta­tive techie Arthur Gold­stuck says Pep’s fig­ures re­veal a pic­ture of “rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion in the phoneb­uy­ing habits of the low- and mid­dlein­come seg­ments of South Africa’s pop­u­la­tion”.

Ac­cord­ing to Gold­stuck, the up­take of smart­phones is “hap­pen­ing faster than any­one could have imag­ined just a few months ago”.

Pep Stores cellular ex­ec­u­tive John Ed­wards says that in the pre­vi­ous year, smart­phones only ac­counted for 1% of all pre­paid deals, but have now sky­rock­eted to 13%.

He says the spike in smart­phone deals can be at­trib­uted to spe­cial of­fers and new low-cost hand­sets like the MTN Steppa and Huawei As­cend Y220, as well as a sig­nif­i­cant up­take of in­stant mes­sag­ing ser­vice What­sApp.

What­sApp has be­come so pop­u­lar that Pep has in­tro­duced a What­sApp­spe­cific fea­ture phone, the AG WhutzZappa. At R399, it’s cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of the low-in­come seg­ment. South Africa is now the fastest-grow­ing mar­ket for smart­phones in Africa.

Go tech!

– Siyabonga Sit­hole

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