Why you should take advantage of SA's mobile app usage growth

A look at the opportunities presented by the country's growing smartphone sales and use


Various factors have come together to contribute to the growth of mobile applications in South Africa including advancement of network technologies, lower mobile data usage costs, and a growing use of smartphones and an increase in application usability. 

All which is good news as it presents great opportunities for businesses that would like to leverage on the growth of smartphone adaptation and mobile app usage, says Sufyan Mkwanda, founder of SM Global Tech, an IT services company focused on the SME market. 

The app market is large and continues to grow each day, says Mkwanda,

"In the year 2013 Google's Android market reported 50 billion app downloads and featured over 1 million apps available on their play store.

"Respectively in the year 2014 Apple reached 75 billion app downloads and featured 1.2 million apps in the iTunes store."

He adds that it is predicted that by 2017, there will be over 268 billion downloads and with revenue reaching 77 billion dollars.

A lucrative market

"According to eMarketer the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass two billion by the year 2016. That is a 12.6% increase from this year," says Mkwanda. 

South Africa is experiencing similar growth in smartphone penetration and mobile app usage with a Mobile Marketing Association South Africa (MMAS) report showing that 17.7 million of the 37.2 million adult population make use of mobile apps or access the internet via their smartphones, says Mkwanda. The country also leads in mobile application downloads in the Sub-Saharan African region, he adds. 


Businesses who choose not to enter the mobile app game should at least invest with a "responsive, mobile-ready website". He adds, "Businesses can look at this as an opportunity to broaden their target audiences, improve their marketing strategies, align their brand to adopt mobile are just a few of the many opportunities presented here."

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