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Smartphone users in South Africa 2014-2023

Today about 20 to 22 million people in South Africa use a smartphone, which accounts for about one third of the country’s population. The overall number of mobile connections is much higher though with more than 90 million, as feature phones are still popular and widely used in the country and on the continent overall. The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow by more than five million though till 2023.

Samsung most popular brand in South Africa

Samsung is currently the leading mobile phone vendor in South Africa. More than 40 percent of devices in use are currently made by the Korean tech giant. The Chinese telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics manufacturer, Huawei, and US-based Apple also have a strong presence in the South African market with a share of more than 15 percent each.

Leading mobile operator: Vodacom

There are three mobile network operators in South Africa which account for about 90 percent of the overall market: Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C. Vodacom, of which British multinational telecommunications company Vodafone holds a majority stake, has the largest share of subscribers with around 40 percent. MTN and Cell C are responsible for around 30 and 17 percent of the market respectively.

Number of smartphone users in South Africa from 2014 to 2023 (in millions)*

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Release date

February 2019


South Africa

Survey time period

2014 to 2018

Special properties

Individuals of any age who own at least one smartphone and use the smartphone(s) at least once per month.

Supplementary notes

* Forecast

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