Between December 2013 and June 2014, there was a 13% increase in the number of smartphones sold by PEP stores, one of SA’s leading cellphone retailers. RA’EESA PATHER found out why Capetonians are snapping up smartphones.
Ashley Hulley, 39, electrician, Strandfontein
You can do everything with [a smartphone]. I use it to send emails, for downloading, and for WiFi connection, and all that. You can’t use a normal phone to do this stuff. It’s important to have, because it improves your life. Data’s not so expensive, if you use Cell C, you get free data every time you buy airtime.
Louis October, 36, technician, Athlone
You can do a lot of stuff with [a smartphone]: WhatsApp and social media, and all that stuff. In my work if I have a problem with something I need to fix, I can take a picture and send it to the office. Expenses aren’t too bad – the apps are free when you download it – but when you use it, it takes data. I buy 30MB for a week, and I pay about R29.
Andiswa Quotyi, 30, waitress, Samora township
It makes life easier. I use it mostly for Internet. My phone is a computer as well – I’ve got CVs here, I’ve got important documents that I need. I don’t need a computer because I have this phone. I pay R377 per month for 250MB. I mainly use WhatsApp and Facebook. It helps me get connected with everyone.
Thandie Melani, 35, Philippi
It’s good for everything, you’ve got a computer in your hand. It is expensive. I can’t afford a better house than what I have in Philippi, but I can afford a smartphone. It makes me reach where I want to reach. I don’t have access to the Internet or a computer at home, but with my smartphone, I can do everything I want to do. I pay R399 per month, but I’ve budgeted for it so it doesn’t give me a hard time. Per month I only use R100’s [worth of] data. I mainly use WhatsApp.
Hilda Williams, 53, domestic worker, Delft South
I like to be connected. I like this phone, I like to use a touchscreen. I have two phones like this Samsung. I bought it cash. I spend a lot of money on WhatsApp and Facebook, about R300 or R400 per month. For me, it’s my money and this is the way I spoil myself.