Wednesday, August 8th, marked our fourth Heavy Chef session of 2012. Leading up to Women’s Day, we celebrated by hosting Shirley Wakefield, CEO of Pondering Panda. The new market research organisation provides accurate stats in a short amount of time. Pondering Panda forms part of the World of Avatar group, therefore much of their research is done through Mxit which has 10 million active users.
Our Heavy Chef event focused on the truth behind mobile stats in Africa, an area that desperately needed demystifying. Shirley started off by informing the audience that there are one billion people in Africa, and 60% of them form the youth market. This means there is a great need to connect but it has to be affordable to the masses.
The stats continued to shock and intrigue us as we learned that the growth in mobile has shifted from developed markets to emerging markets, and mobile in Africa has seen a 82% growth rate since 2010. The reality of this growth means that by 2015, more people will have access to mobile phones than to electricity in their homes.
Today, close to 90% of all phones in Africa are mobiles, and 50% of internet users in Africa do not access the internet via a PC. Only 3% of mobile users in Africa use Smartphones, which explains why feature phones still dominate the marketplace. By 2015, Smartphone penetration is expected to increase enormously to 15%.
The most popular handsets currently sit with Nokia (52%) and Samsung (25%), owned by over three quarters of African mobile users. When looking at which handsets users are keen to purchase next, Nokia still leads with 56%, however Blackberry (19%) only just overtakes Samsung (14%).
Shirley also shared her stats on the ‘Youth Hope Index’. This revealed that 54% of the youth thinks that South Africa will be a better place in ten years, while 46% say it will be worse.
The evening shed some light of the curious nature of mobile and how fast it continues to grow in Africa, leaving room for healthy debate among the Heavy Chef community.
A big thank you to Deloitte for the stunning venue and Backsberg wine for quenching the thirst of all who attended. Our thanks also to Channel Mobile for the SMS reminders to our community and Nokia for allowing us to reward the best tweet of the night with a flashy Nokia Lumia.
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