South African App Market


There are more than half a million Android apps within the international. The i-Store, which officially garnered more than 25 billion downloads in March this 12 months, offers 5.5 million downloads, with more than 170 000 apps especially tailored in your iOS. If your head isn’t always spinning with the variety on offer then I’ll hit you with the fact that around three hundred 000 of those apps had been uploaded within the final three years. Talk approximately an industry developing overnight.south african

All this has been driven by using an ever-growing stage and availability of cellular hardware and stable running platforms and development tools. Given the proliferation of mobile devices around the world (more than eighty-five percentage of the planet is using them), you may properly ask, has South Africa taken benefit of this new outlet for her skills and enterprise?


The answer, alas, is mixed. South Africa has had some superb advantages while as compared with its peers at the continent. Unfortunately, we’ve got a music report of sitting on our laurels. We have managed to drop, or at least fumble, the ball when it comes to issues like kids development, the creation of sustainable opportunity energies and the improvement of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure.

So one may well ask are we going to overlook the boat at the App increase too? It’s now not that I’m saying we’re completely useless, it’s extra a case of failing to seize possibilities. South Africa ought to be using proper, be one of the strongest games on the continent but permit’s take a look at what we’ve got achieved with our possibilities.

At the turn of this century we had one of the excellent telecommunications infrastructures at the continent but now our line speeds and records charges are falling a long way behind the rest of Africa. In 2012 our Internet penetration is less than 14 percentage which places us in advance of the African average of thirteen.5% however properly at the back of nations like Kenya (25%), Nigeria (29%) or Morocco (forty-nine%). We are above average, sure, however here’s my factor: while you take into account our capacity, is good enough all we need to be aiming for?app

Our bad overall performance with regards to education and communications infrastructure might be the single biggest stumbling block in this user’s improvement. Certainly, it’s miles the main element in our lagging in the back of the relaxation of the area with regards to taking benefit of the app marketplace. Here we have a profit-producing enterprise that every person needs to be able to enter, everywhere and at any time, and we’re choking ourselves with old-line speeds and exorbitant fees for bandwidth.

Everyone can see how the e-tolling machine might be terrible for commercial enterprise and commuters. With that during mind would it definitely marvel every person to listen that a latest have a look at performing for the Business Software Alliance placed us 18th out of 24 nations in our readiness for cloud computing? The report noted our low tiers of Internet penetration and low tiers of facts and communications era as a hassle, and additionally went on to mention that there needs to be better making plans for the expansion of our high-pace networks (we’re currently lagging in the back of India in this department). Above all, we are going to need to make the Web faster and extra affordable if we’re doing a good way to compete for the world over.

With a relatively restricted infrastructure and prices which are still prohibitive for lots, the penetration of apps is glaringly ways in the back of what it needs to be, however, it’s now not all terrible news. While we have a manner to head in ensuring that our countrymen and ladies get into the addiction of downloading apps, incorporate phrases we are surely no longer to date in the back of the curve. As Richard Cherry of Afrozaar Apps places it, “We surely do follow countries just like the US, South Korea, and the EU almost about preferred customer new-media apps, however, I trust our company and commercial enterprise-to-business app paradigm is not that some distance behind.” Indeed in sure industries like banking, South Africa is an international chief seeing that we’re frequently used to piloting and testing commercial enterprise software and systems.

Banks like FNB even have a sturdy imparting on the subject of banking apps and have seen the blessings that are capable of providing something extra to their customers can bring.

On the entire although, we are nonetheless suffering to develop a subculture of app use for the average South African. We are all acquainted with some of the biggies like Facebook, but there remains an untapped market for apps designed for the local market. You’ve got to ask why more of this form of the app isn’t being created. It can’t be stated that South Africa is absolutely lacking in skill or creativity. Indeed the studies institution, Gartner rated us as one of the top 30 software program-developing locations lower back in 2008.

The query is what have we achieved with our potential? Are we letting some other opportunities slip by? In 2009 the ITC ranked us first inside the sub-classes of ICT protection, cyber- and intellectual-property rights’ legal guidelines and contribution of offerings to gross domestic product. We came in the third general as an outsourcing vacation spot, which most effective is going to prove my point that we’ve got the skills and expertise ensure regions, but we are regularly allowing down by way of permitting ourselves to lag in others. This numerous level of competence and first-class seems to suggest that in place of developing a cohesive plan for a way we are able to enhance our ICT and harness the strength of our builders, we are at the mercy of conflicting forces – every seeking to appear after its very own pursuits with no interest in the development of our kingdom’s industries as a whole.

A working example, the more recent ICT figures revealed that we ranked thirtieth out of forty-six African international locations when it got here to our cell-records costs. No prizes for guessing who is letting the aspect down here. The backside line is that cell-data rates want to fall if we aren’t going to overlook yet every other opportunity. The penetration of cell gadgets far exceeds our Internet penetration with nearly 80 percent of South Africans owning a cellular tool. As smartphones drop in price, increasingly more humans could be the usage of the Android or iOS. That represents a massive market with extremely good potential if we will get human beings used to the usage of apps. The first step to attaining that is losing fees in order that they’re now not past the approach of the consumer.

You’ve no doubt observed that a few steps were taken on this regard and rates are dropping, presuming it’s not a case of too little too past due. The inevitable question for the commercial enterprise-minded individual could need to be, “How can I get involved in this?”
Local or international 25 billion app downloads sound like a pie you’ll want a slice of? If you’re now not an aspiring developer yourself there is no want to despair (indeed probabilities are you will want a group something takes place). A properly concept can be all you need and there are masses of corporations inside the South African marketplace that will help you realize you’re imaginative and prescient. The chances are that you’re no longer going to replicate the fulfillment of Angry Birds in a single day, however, Richard Cherry’s handed on some tips you would possibly want to endure in thoughts:

-Build a group with the right degrees of experience and skill sets
-Obtain crew enjoy on a number of expert service initiatives and additionally positioned at the time, additional time if important, to research and broaden existing apps
-Try some apps your self to completely recognize the tool systems being targeted
-Focus on constructing a software program aspect base for reusability and future extensions
-Find ways to mature transport and/or production lines
-Then, have your crew agree on a product or platform, and commit to constructing it in

This very last factor can be a bit of a stumbling block. After all, do you want to create a web app or an app designed to be native to the tool on which it is run? Ideally, your app needs to be able to deal with both situations. Certainly, you have to layout any app or internet site with the regulations of mobile devices in mind. The various degrees of penetration among mobile and Internet connections make it clear which you are genuinely going to want a mobile website online in your enterprise. However, the conflicts and versions among browsers can regularly be a stumbling block and a local app can often be a way of making sure that an app works stably and as you want it to.

If you decide to go together with a native app then the probabilities are that you need to go together with Android (unless you are supplying a product that you deem greater suitable to the iPhone market). My thinking here comes down to the reality that cost is likely to be certainly one of the biggest factors in the adoption of mobile gadgets on this u. S . A .. Most universal bottom-of-the-range smartphones are probably going to be the use of one model of the Android OS or another, so it makes feel to make sure your app might be strong on Android.

While it’s miles worth noting our weaknesses, it is equally crucial to renowned our strengths. For marketers, app improvement represents a big possibility and it’s miles one that South Africans, and their opposite numbers on the rest of the continent, are seizing increasingly. As the mobile strategist and AppCircus co-founder, Rudy De Waele these days commented: “Many of the African app developers we met at some stage in the AppCircus Africa excursion final yr had been college graduates, however, the big majority have learned to code through the Internet.

Randall J. Lopez

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