South Africa is undeniably a mobile-first country. According to Stats SA, there are already up to 22 million South Africans making more than 90 million mobile connections, and smartphone users are set to grow by over 5 million in 2023 alone. The country is spearheading 5G roll-out on the continent enabling immense capacity, high speed, and low latency to enable mobile users to enhance their experiences of work and play.
MX (Mobile Experience) and Mobile Power will lead the way this year
We’re way past the point of no return – we can’t live our modern lives without our smartphones. It’s no longer just about how we stay connected, keep safe, and record special moments. It is now an integral part of the way we work, shop, manage our finances and enjoy entertainment. Across the world, there’s increasing investment in the evolution of mobile devices and apps with a specific focus on how they change our lives. Here are 4 key mobile tech trends that will have an impact in the year to come:
- Smart Power – everywhere and all the time
While developing the mobile phones ‘bells and whistles’ is arguably more exciting and easily captures attention, battery power is finally getting its chance to own the limelight in 2023. Kegan Peffer, CEO of mobile rental network, Adoozy Power, says, “the success of the rapidly changing capabilities of mobile devices is wholly dependent on the power that is needed to deliver on these capabilities, and we are seeing innovations emerging from mobile and battery manufacturers.
However, people need devices that charge at speed, no matter where they are. This has become particularly important with the hybrid work model. At the hygiene-level, they want seamless solutions that keep them powered up and connected 24/7. We will see the further mainstreaming of rental power solutions and mobile charging stations that are taking power beyond a necessity in the realm of commodity. Together with add-on functionalities and mobile features, superior power will see our devices go further and do more.”
- The rise, and rise of the Super App
Dominant in China, and successful in South-East Asia to the Middle East and Latin America, Super apps are now emerging in Africa. Super apps are on-demand platforms enabling customers to perform a range of functions all in one app. People can pay, shop, navigate and message without having to juggle multiple apps, making online lives less complicated while saving storage space and data. Although still in its infancy in South Africa with only a few players in the market, we can expect local developers and tech companies to be working tirelessly behind the scenes this year in the lead-up to their big debut.
- Mobile Shop ‘til’ you drop
According to a 2022 survey by Adoozy Power, 85% of South Africans aged between 18 and 39 years use their mobile phones when shopping online as opposed to desktops, with over 52% saying they prefer mobile because it allows them to shop anytime while on the go. Peffer says, “The sense of safety while shopping online is ever-increasing, while the speed and CX of retailer apps improves the online shopping experience.
M-commerce continues to be on the incline, and we can look forward to more experiential & personalised offers, especially in the space of in-app shopping. Mobile apps have been known to operate up to six times faster than mobile websites, which is why consumers prefer them to web browser shopping.”
4. More mobile-based Augmented Reality (AR)
Once the preserve of the gaming world, AR is making big strides on the mobile front with the number of AR mobile apps rising each year. Peffer says, “We’ve seen global retail brands such as Shopify and Ikea launching their AR apps with great success, enabling consumers to enjoy a virtual ‘ real word’ shopping experience. Closer to home, we can expect to see this trend break into our local market with big-name retailers launching their mobile AR apps this year. This will be a game-changer for consumers.”