There have been a couple of questions floating around on Twitter about how many iPhone devices there are in South Africa. The numbers have ranged from around 30,000 to a crazy 170,000. So I took the liberty of asking the Vodacom CEO, Pieter Uys, on Twitter, how many Vodacom had sold.Vodacom are the official carriers of iPhones in South Africa, so every single South African iPhone should have been purchased through them, whether it was on contract or once-off purchase. Yes, the are a probably a few other “imported” iPhones as well, but those can’t be that high.
[blackbirdpie id =”15319205391″]
Pieter then kindly responded with this.
[blackbirdpie id =”15326977521″]
The tweet actually followed up with a DM asking me for my cell number, and Pieter phoned me to chat about this, and tech stuff in general !! What a super #BrandPLUS !!!
This means that around 90,000 iPhones have “officially” been sold in South Africa.
Then I had a look at these admob stats that were released earlier this week – http://metrics.admob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/AdMob-Country-Data-April-2010.xlsx. In the report, the mention that South Africa admob stats for April were as follows: (thanks to Amabacha for the heads up and image below)
What the above image means is that only 35,674 of the 90,000 devices in South Africa have used or seen Admob stats which are included in the majority of mobile web pages as well as in iPhone apps. This equates to around 40% of all South African iPhones encountered a admob ad in April.
I also had a chat to the guys who run the News24 iPhone app. According to them, they have about 20,000 “active” users of the app. The News24 iPhone app is probably the most “prolific” iPhone app in South Africa, which most people would have installed, if the understood the app model. (my personal opinion)
So, what does all of the above mean. Well, what it looks like, is that, in South Africa, people are buying iPhones. Not as much as Blackberry’s, but they are buying them. BUT, they NOT using them to their full capabilities. They not using it for web browsing, and they not downloading apps. They using them for Phone calls & SMS’s and maybe to read email. A large part of this I think is “user education”, with people buying the phone and not understanding the full capabilities, but rather, just to have a “cool” phone. (Yes, it IS cool)
We need to teach people to “understand” the phone. We need them to be able to not only use it for phone calls & sms’s and make them realise that there is a whole other world out there :) How, you ask ? That part, I’m not to sure about :( But, as per my post yesterday, I have setup a site called iPhone Help, which will allow people to hopefully ask questions and get answers about the iPhone. A place where people can share tips and tricks, and help the people who don’t understand the phones capabilites, understand it better.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment below if you have any ideas on how we can help our fellow iPhone friends :)