SA spends more on tech than US

A new survey finds that South Africans spent more on consumer technology in 2012 than the average US consumer, also beating many countries in Europe including the UK, Germany, France, and Sweden.

According to Accenture’s 2013 Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage Report, South Africans spent $940 (R8,352) over the past 12 months on consumer electronics in 2012, and intend on upping that spend to $1,164 (R10,340) in 2013.

US consumers in comparison, spent $848 in 2012, and they intend on increasing that spend to $970 over the next 12 months.

The survey questioned 11,000 consumers across 11 countries with South Africa representing 9% of the sample.

Consumers in China spent the most, at an average $1,251 in 2012, lifting to $1,489 over the next 12 months – while consumers in Germany spent $927, with a predicted rise to $1,082 over the next 12 months.

Consumer spend

Types of device

The ownership of devices like smartphones, tablets and HDTVs have grown strongly over the past few years, as expected.

41% of respondents said they intended to purchase a smartphone in 2013, 36% said a PC, 33% said HDTV, and 23% said a tablet.

The ownership of a smartphone lifted from 28% in 2010, to 58% in 2012, while tablet ownership increased from 8% in 2010, to 25% in 2012.

PC ownership increased marginally, from 91% to 94% over the comparative period.

Apps usage

Two thirds of respondents said they use apps for information – namely news, weather and sports – while 53% said they used apps for navigation purposes. Half of respondents said they use apps for financial purposes including trading, banking and mobile payments.

For the purpose of online banking and finance management, namely checking accounts, making transfers and paying bills, 93% of respondents said they conduct this activity on a PC, 21% via mobile, 11% via tablet, and 3% via TV.

And for online shopping, 93% of respondents said they conducted this activity on a PC, 16% via mobile phone, and 13% via tablet.

TV vs PC

When it comes to watching shows and movies on demand, the use of the PC and TV are nearly tied:

53% use their PC while 56% use TV. “This flexibility to use any device is so important that half of consumers would consider paying extra to watch TV shows or movies on their computer,” Accenture said.

“Furthermore, activities conducted on mobile devices that were once considered ’emerging’ are becoming more mainstream.”

“Almost half of consumers already do or plan to make payments in stores using a mobile phone or tablet and about one-third do or plan to control home audio/video and home security with their mobile device,” the management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm said.

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SA spends more on tech than US