By 4 February 2011 | Categories: news


Nokia together with a leading sociologist and professor of science and technology studies at Cornell University’s, Trevor Pinch, analysed a study of over 5200 smartphone users in ten countries, including South Africa.
Based on the analysis of data such as app genre, variety and usage, smartphone users were grouped into personality categories (linked to their smartphone behaviour), which Pinch summarised into six archetypes called “appitypes.”
According to Professor Trevor Pinch, you can determine someone’s personality by looking at the smartphone apps that they installed on their devices. 
The results for South Africa show that local smartphone users have become a nation of “app dependants”, with 65% of smartphone users relying on apps to significantly benefit their lives while they are at home (50%), travelling (13%), or at work (20%).
“With so many apps available, people can pick the ones most relevant to them,” Pinch said. “The intimacy we share with our phones stamps our personality onto them. They know our tastes, our needs and even our secrets. If you ever want to really know someone, take a look at their apps – you may be in for a surprise!”
Appitypes not only revealed users’ personal traits, but also as a whole some of a countries national characteristics as well. South Africans are the biggest “connectors” with 45% regularly using social networking apps, whilst Germans and Indians are more work-focused “appcentrics” for instance. The clear majority (80%) of South Africans sampled, have up to 30 apps on their smartphone, with men being the more likely of the two sexes to download an app (87% vs.79%).
When it comes to downloading apps, local users prioritised social networking apps, which were followed by music and game apps. This served to highlight the fact that the majority of users utilise their apps while they are at home, as opposed to when they’re at work.
The research conducted also showed that there exist differences in the app trends of South Africans based on regions within the country. Users in East London and Bloemfontein are “socialisers”, mostly downloading social networking apps (55%), whilst Durbanites would rather opt for games (38%). 
Port Elizabeth users tend to follow a different path with high downloads of travel/navigation apps. Gauteng residents (69%) downloaded apps if they thought that these would benefit their lives, whilst most Capetonians preferred to get free apps (50%).
“Apps are a great way to personalise your mobile. Like our old record or CD collections, apps reveal who we are – whether we look at the type of apps people have, how they organise them, or which ones they most use. It certainly makes for interesting reading,” said George Linardos, vice president of media, Nokia.
To determine which appitype you fall under, log on to and for a list of the six appitypes as well as full explanations of each go to the Nokia Connect website.


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