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LTE phone shipments will grow tenfold this year

March 23rd, 2012

smartphonesAccording to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global LTE phone shipments will grow tenfold to reach 67 million units in 2012. It is a breakout year for 4G technology. Companies leading the growth spurt will include Apple, Samsung, HTC and others.

Neil Shah, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global LTE phone shipments to grow tenfold from 6.8 million units in 2011 to 67.0 million in 2012. Major countries driving LTE growth this year will include the United States, Japan and South Korea. Multiple operators, such as Verizon Wireless, NTT Docomo and SK Telecom, are aggressively expanding their LTE networks.

Key vendors leading the push into LTE phones will include Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Pantech and Fujitsu.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The mobile industry is entering a breakout year for 4G LTE technology. Multiple operators and multiple phone vendors will be launching dozens of LTE models across numerous countries worldwide. LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, device vendor or component maker can afford to ignore.”

Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The LTE phone segment is expanding at a rapid rate this year, but there will undoubtedly be growing pains in this early phase. Many LTE phones and data plans will be relatively expensive, which means operators will need to invest generous subsidies to make 4G more affordable for subscribers. Meanwhile, consumers will be concerned about LTE usability issues, such as shortened battery life, excessive device weight, or sudden bill shock caused by high data consumption.”

 

Exhibit 1: Global LTE Phone Shipments Forecast in 2012 1
Global Mobile Phone Shipments (Millions of Units) 2011 2012
LTE 6.8 67.0
Global Mobile Phone Shipments Growth Year-over-Year % 2011 2012
LTE ~ 885.3%

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