Should we still get excited by what’s to come in the world of smartphones? The answer is a resounding yes.
The past two three years have not only propelled ways of working, like work from home, they have also seen soaring use of smartphones and leapfrogged the adoption of technology in various areas, which include online shopping and ecommerce, video streaming and content creation. One only has to look at the latest local TikTok usage numbers that were reported to be at 6 million users daily to comprehend how Smartphones have become part of daily routines.
In South Africa specifically, last year was a big year for digital and cashless payments. The launch of Google pay in the last quarter of 2022, created wider access to safer cashless payments for consumers, he added.
These advances influence what the landscape will look like in 2023. We obviously have to look at it within the context of the current temperature and sentiment of the country, with the economy under pressure, rising interest rates, increasing fuel prices and the ongoing loadshedding, but we are confident that the sector will continue to see growth.
Some of the leading trends will include:
Better advances in fast charging technology
This is probably a low hanging fruit, however with load-shedding disrupting livelihoods and impacting on business, particularly small businesses who rely on their mobile phones to do business, consumers will be looking for solutions. Other than looking into alternative power solutions like inverters and UPSs, they will also be looking for ways to go about life, a big part of which involves connectivity.
In this environment, charging which used to be a mundane task becomes a critical part of planning your day, and the faster you can do it, the better. Fast charging technology allows users to charge up devices much faster than what was previously possible. The SuperVOOC charging capability on the OPPO Reno8 Pro is a good example of this technology, charging a 4500mAh battery to 50% in 11 minutes and full power in 40 min.
5G and faster processors
ICASA successfully concluded the spectrum auction last year, giving the telcos room to expand and roll out new technologies such as 5G. Supported by the accelerated rollout of 5G technology, smartphones have become the baseline for engaging with the world, facilitating interactions in the burgeoning social media environment but, as importantly, through personal and business applications too. In fact, they are becoming an office in the pocket for everyone from busy Moms to chief executives.
With the rollout of faster, more affordable 5G connectivity, it is estimated that 43% of the population will soon have access to it by 2025, according to Africa Analysis. As we have one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world (90%), South Africans are rapidly becoming digital natives who can confidently engage on myriad platforms.
Also, as service providers rapidly invest in infrastructure to increase access to 5G, smart devices are now coming with faster processors, enabling users to take full advantage of all of the benefits that the technology has to offer.
All hail Android
Users are looking for integrated technologies that are seamless, natural, and interactive. This is a big consideration for anyone buying a smartphone today. The question “what else can it do” becomes critical. It is for this reason that OPPO champions Android and values its partnership with Google. The
focus is on being able to give users control, customisation and freedom. Other than interaction with the device, Android as an OS continues to offer users interoperability with other devices, Apps and themes.
The availability of the full Google suite on our devices means that we are able to deliver accessible, personalised technology that is appropriate and relevant to all smartphone users.
The price point matters, affordable with a premium feel
The consumer wants so much more from their smartphone, which now plays so many different roles from camera, to office, television in a pocket, all the way to fashion statement, all of which come at a price. The good news however, is that smartphone manufacturers are packing in more features into devices, including those at entry level.
There is no doubt that in the current economic environment consumers have a focus on affordability and that they will be watching the price point intensely. As a manufacturer, the key is to be able to provide excellent craftsmanship, and state of the art technology at a price point that works for the everyday citizen. For this reason we anticipate that there will be movement in the entry level and affordable ranges across all manufacturers. This speaks directly to the OPPO A Series range, the latest of which is the A78 which will launch in South Africa soon, boasting affordability, with a premium feel.
Foldable is the new rage
Foldables are bringing excitement that we haven’t experienced in a while into the smartphone market! They are young, fun, trendy and designed to fit into the lifestyle of the users. There is likely to be increased competition for the best ‘fold’ in the market. The beauty of these devices is their compact versatility, and their intuitive immersive landscape display when unfolded, enabling users to switch between portrait and landscape formats seamlessly.
The OPPO Find N series, four years in the making, was introduced to the world over the last two years and part of the series will be making its way to the South African market this year.
Consumers have a lot to look forward to in this range, which is not only feature rich, but snuggles pretty well in the exclusive premium bracket.