Global LTE phone shipments will grow tenfold, reaching 67m units in 2012, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. The firm describes 2012 as a “breakout year for 4G technology,” with Apple, Samsung, HTC and others leading the way.
“We forecast global LTE phone shipments to grow tenfold from 6.8m units in 2011 to 67m in 2012. Major countries driving LTE growth this year will include the US, 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,” says Neil Shah, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.
“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,” adds Neil Mawston, executive director at the firm.
The firm notes that LTE adoption will be thwarted somewhat by expensive data plans and usability issues that can effect LTE devices, such as decreased battery life.
Apple just released it’s first LTE-equipped device in the new iPad and most industry watchers expect the other shoe to drop when Apple introduces its next iPhone, which is widely expected to come packed with LTE.