The best and worst mobile phones in South Africa in 2016

The latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for mobile handsets reveals that South African consumers are highly satisfied with their experience with Apple phones – while Blackberry continues to fall out of favour.

According to the survey, Apple phones exceed South African mobile phone users’ expectations of quality, reliability and meet their needs with an index score of 83.5.

Trailing Apple are Nokia and Samsung phones scoring 80.6 and 79.5 on the index, respectively. These three brands lead by scoring above the average industry index of 78.2.

While Huawei and Sony have been in the South African market for a few years, they are new entrants to the SAcsi in 2016. Both handsets ranked on par with the industry average with Huawei scoring 77.2 and Sony 76.2 among consumers.

Blackberry phones continue to fall out of consumer favour overall and received low scores across the board. It lagged the industry leader, Apple, by more than 12 points, with a satisfaction score of 71.4.

# Hand set 2015 Score 2016 Score
1 Apple  82.7 83.5
2 Samsung  78.8 80.6
3 Nokia  78.9 79.5
Industry Average 77.2 78.2
5 Huawei  – 77.2
6 Sony  – 76.2
7 Blackberry  70.6 71.4

The SAcsi is run through Consulta, which surveyed more than 1,700 mobile handset owners, choosing the total number of respondents in line with the various manufacturers’ local market share.

According to the group, Samsung has almost doubled its market share since the 2015 SAcsi for Mobile Handsets, with Apple showing significant, yet somewhat slower growth with their much higher priced handset models in a very competitive market.

“Blackberry is certainly on the decline as was evident in the challenge the researchers faced to find users of this brand of handset to fulfil the sample requirements.”

“Even though Nokia no longer exists as an independent brand, it holds a slightly larger share of the market due to legacy handsets, and devices still being sold through the likes of Ackermans and second-hand stores,” the group said.

Customer expectation measures how the mobile handset compares to the owner’s expectations of their ideal phone.

Apple owners have the highest expectations of their mobile handset (87.9), compared to the industry average of 81.6. Samsung owners noted an expectation of 82.5, followed closely by Nokia (81.8), Sony (80.9) and Huawei (78.3) owners.

It is significant to note the large expectation premium Apple loyalists have for the brand, Consulta said.

Blackberry is the only handset that has seen a decline in customer expectations from 2015 to 2016 and has the lowest expectation score at 76.0 – a significant five points below the industry average.

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The best and worst mobile phones in South Africa in 2016