by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE acceleration of 5G, demand for faster charging solutions and sustained competition in the market for foldable smartphones is on the rise.
These are the main trends to watch in 2023, according to Oppo, one of the players in the cutthroat market in South Africa.
The Chinese company noted the pandemic had propelled new ways of working, seen soaring use of smartphones and leapfrogged the adoption of technology in various areas, including online shopping and ecommerce, video streaming and content creation.
In South Africa, specifically, last year was a big year for digital and cashless payments. Google Pay was launched in the last quarter of 2022.
“These advances influence what the landscape will look like in 2023,” said Liam Faurie, Head of Go-to-Market and Operations at Oppo South Africa.
“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 load shedding, but we are confident that the sector will continue to see growth.”
Faurie noted with the rollout of faster, more affordable 5G connectivity, Africa Analysis estimated that 43 percent of the population will have access to this technology by 2025.
“As we have one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world (90 percent), South Africans are rapidly becoming digital natives who can confidently engage on myriad platforms,” Faurie said.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) concluded the spectrum auction in 2022, giving telcos room to expand and roll out new
technologies such as 5G.
Faurie forecast increased competition for the best foldable smartphone in the market.
Oppo has the Find N series in that space. 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,” Faurie assured.
The executive noted consumers were on the lookout for a premium-feel smartphone at an affordable price, amid the current economic challenges.
The Oppo A Series range is said to fit the bill. The latest, the A78, will launch in South Africa soon.
Amid load shedding impacting on industry, particularly small businesses relying on their mobile phones to do business, consumers will be looking for fast charge solutions, Faurie forecast.
Oppo believes the SuperVOOC charging capability on its Reno8 Pro is a good example of this technology, charging a 4500mAh battery to 50 percent in 11 minutes and full power in 40 minutes.
The Dongguan-headquartered firm initiated operations in South Africa in 2020.
Oppo has a 10,5 percent market share of the Android market globally, according to AppBrain, which places it third.
– CAJ News