It has been announced that the number of people using the internet in South Africa has risen considerably due to the rise in the availability of smartphones.
The surge, which represents a 25 per cent growth over the past year, was revealed by research conducted by World Wide Worx, a research company who monitors internet traffic amongst other things. This jump represents an increase from 6.5 million people in the country using the internet at the end of 2010 to 8.5 million by the end of 2011.
Managing director for World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstruck, said of the news, “Penetration is now approaching 20%, and for the first time we can see the mass market embracing digital tools on their phones.”
The study revealed that 7.9 million people in South Africa accessed the internet via their mobile phone and almost 2.5 million people are without computers. This represents a significant coup for the smartphone market that is now showing that there is no need for people to own a computer in order to access the best of what the web has to offer.
In response to the results, executive producer of howzit MSN, Justin Zehmke, said, “This has huge implications for media and social networks. It means that, in the coming years, all services offered online will also have to be offered on cellphones.”
With smartphones being behind the internet drive in South Africa, a knock on effect is the lowering of data charges.