Global Long Term Evolution (LTE) handset shipments are predicted to grow tenfold to reach 67 million units in 2012, and the winners include Apple, Samsung, Pantech, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola and Fujitsu.
Neil Shah, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, says, “We forecast global LTE phone shipments to grow tenfold from 6.8 million units in 2011 to 67 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.”
Adds Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, adds, “The mobile industry is entering a breakout year for 4G LTE technology. LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, device vendor or component maker can afford to ignore.”
On the down side, the group points out that many LTE phones and data plans will be “relatively expensive,” meaning 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.”