Africa’s corporates still choose BlackBerry over Samsung while buying smartphones for staff


BlackBerry 10: When purchase decision is left to the company or employers to make, they chose a BlackBerry device.
BlackBerry 10: When purchase decision is left to the company or employers to make, they chose a BlackBerry device.

Samsung maybe the leading smartphone brand in Africa- with 30 per cent of personal smartphone owners having one – but when the purchase decision is left to the company or employers to make, they chose a BlackBerry instead.

These are the findings from a new research – conducted by African Business Panel among 1,766 professionals drawn from Africa between August and September – the smaller-market for company-owned smartphones is led by Blackberry at 31 per cent, followed by Samsung at 25 per cent while iPhone comes third at 23 per cent.

For personal owners however, Samsung leads the pack at 30 per cent followed Blackberry (22 %) with iPhone coming in third place (19 %). The resurgent Nokia is fourth at 11 %, HTC at 6%, Sony Ericsson at 2 % while LG and Motorola have 1 % each.

Smartphones are used most frequently. 65 percent of the participants in the survey use their smartphones several times a day, 54 percent use their laptops just as frequently, with users of tablets following at 44 percent. 22 percent never use their personally owned mobile phone for work related communication as opposed to the smartphone, of which 6 percent of the owners say they never use it.

Asked about expected future use, the rise of mobile devices is confirmed by the survey participants. 60 percent expect a strong increase in the use of smartphones. For the tablet and the laptop, response in perceived increase was 58 and 44 percent respectively. On the other hand, asked about which devices the participants expected a strong decrease in use, 32 percent indicated the desktop, versus only 4 percent for both smartphone and tablet.

Device Ownership

The survey demonstrates that only 67 percent of Africa business professionals are using a desktop, versus 94 percent using laptops. The tablet, a relatively new mobile innovation, is already adopted by 47 percent of the African business world. 76 percent use a smartphone, which is more than the use of the classic mobile phone (64%). 9 percent possess both a private and a company smartphone.

Laptops are best protected. 87 percent of the laptop owners in the survey had software security installed. Of users of desktops, 76 percent made use of security. For tablets, 46 percent, and the least protected are smartphones (44%).

The main reasons for not installing security software are high costs (39%), the lack of urgency (32%) and complexity (17%). The most used software security is McAfee (31%), followed by Microsoft (30%), Kaspersky (28%), AVG/Grisoft (28%) and Symantec (16%).

This survey was conducted in the period of August and September, 2013. In total, we had 1766 Business Professionals from the continent of Africa participating in this research.

The survey – which focused on senior managers, executives, directors or business owners- had respondents from Nigeria (19 %), South Africa (18 %), Kenya (14 %), followed by Ghana ( 5%), Tanzania ( 3%), Zambia ( 3%) and Angola ( 3%).