The Game of Phones Survey (you read Game of Thrones didn’t you?) created by the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) industry unit at Deloitte revealed that more than 33% of Africans glance at their phones every 5 minutes! More than 50% of smartphone users use their gadgets at work, while shopping, or on public transport. This information was collected from over 5,000 respondents throughout Africa, and reveals that more than a billion glances were recorded in a day.
This provides a bigger and better opportunity for businesses throughout Africa to focus on getting the attention of the large online consumer base. Mark Casey, Global Media and Entertainment Leader at Deloitte Global says that, “This must mean something for businesses as it is clear smartphones are becoming ever more embedded in our lives. Usage indicates a serious shift away from just information and communication to virtually everything – from how we consume media, to banking, purchasing and gaming, for example.”
Further research revealed most African smartphone users check their phones first thing in the morning and last thing before they go to sleep. Also most people make use of their phones, usually when they are heading to their destination using public transportation. A few of those surveyed claim to use their phones to access insurance, home security, and healthcare services, this habit amongst smartphone users however, continues to grow slowly but surely. More popular services sought are financial, as more mobile banking applications and software are created and used by the public.
“Such disruptive technology, especially with the traditional services sectors such as banking and finance, has the potential to be a game changer…thus ensuring a more positive outcome in broadening economic participation among locals,” says Casey.
As more technology and device manufacturers and mobile service providers have to invest in even more resources to cater for the growing demand of smartphone engagement, businesses throughout Africa need to be ready to dive into the sea of online consumers.
Compared to the smartphone penetration witnessed in South Africa and Nigeria, Kenya remains fairly low given its growing social and economic development. The study also shows a growing consumption of data usage, even more so that Wi-Fi and fibre, with more people choosing to purchase smarter devices that enjoy multiple functions in one. Clearly, phones are not just for calling anymore.