A new survey of the technology habits of South Africa’s students reveals that BlackBerry remains the most popular brand of mobile phone.
The 2015 Student Tech Survey, conducted across South African tertiary education institutions by World Wide Worx and Student Brands, with the support of Standard Bank, found that BlackBerry (32%) is ahead of Samsung at 27% and Nokia at 21%, when it comes to the brand of phone used by students.
However, when asked for their brand preference regardless of affordability, one out of every two respondents chose the Apple iPhone. Samsung came in second at 29%, and Sony in third place at 9%.
“The reality will be a little different,” said Arthur Goldstuck, MD of technology market research organisation World Wide Worx.
“There is a vast affordability gap between what students wish they could get and what they intend to get.”
According to student intentions, 43% will buy a Samsung phone next, with the iPhone coming in second at 17%, followed by Nokia at 11% and BlackBerry still making a showing at 10%.
More than 2,300 students participated in the survey, conducted to establish trendlines for changes in the student technology landscape.
As many as 38% of respondents are using Android devices, overtaking the previous leading operating system, BlackBerry.
A little more than one in 10 students still use feature phones, while the Windows Mobile operating system is used by 7% of the sample, marginally ahead of Apple’s iOS, the report found.
Facebook has become the default social network among students, being used by 97% of respondents, followed by Twitter at 67%, then YouTube, with 44%. The most recent entrant into the social arena, WeChat, has already reached 22% of the student market.
The survey also revealed the rise of the platform that is becoming most closely associated with selfies, showing 40% of respondents using Instagram.
However, professional aspirations also came to the fore, revealing that 36% of the students interviewed use LinkedIn.
It is also an increasingly connected market, with 92% using WhatsApp for instant messaging, followed by Facebook Messenger with 55% and BBM with 48%.
Mxit has lost appeal, waning to 17%.
According to the survey, Wi-Fi hotspots are students’ most important form of connecting to the Internet, while their campus is the most common location for connecting.