Uber South Africa just launched a ‘lite’ app 10 times smaller than the regular one – for people who can't afford much data

Business Insider SA
(Facebook, UberRSA)
(Facebook, UberRSA)
  • Uber Lite, a version of Uber that uses less space and data, is rolling out in South Africa today.
  • It will be ten times smaller than the current app at just 5MB - roughly the size of three selfies.
  • The app should be faster for people in areas with low connectivity, and for people with limited data plans.

Uber is rolling out a lighter version of its application in South Africa to help consumers using basic Android devices.

Uber Lite will be ten times smaller than the current Uber app. At just 5MB, it will be the size of three selfies.

A 25MB data bundle at Telkom, one of South Africa’s cheapest mobile operators, cost R7.30, while Uber ride prices start at least R20.

Also read: Uber SA just pushed up prices by R1 per 2 km - despite the big fuel-price drop

Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, said the introduction of the lighter application was “obvious” for the South African market.

He said the new app retains the core functionality of the current app, and includes critical safety features - but it works faster in low connectivity areas, and for people with limited data plans.

“Every day, hundreds of thousands of South Africans rely on Uber for mobility and work, and we understand that a one-size-fits-all app doesn’t work for the diversity of network conditions, devices, and rider needs across the country,” Lits said in a statement.

Also read: Food is up to 32% more expensive on Uber Eats and Mr D than in-store – and that’s before delivery fees

Uber Lite was first rolled out in India in 2018.

It promises a 300-millisecond process time, the time it takes to blink an eye, in low connectivity environments.

It caches a city’s top locations so that even when a user is offline, they can add it as their favourites on the app. 

Loading maps is also optional, which assists with the speed of the application.