Those that haven’t been living under a rock will know that 4G LTE is today’s technology. It is here to stay, and manufacturers and carriers across the globe are investing all their dimes and nickles to move to the faster data speeds it offers. But currently we find ourselves in the middle of the transition, and LTE device shipments are said to multiply by 10 this year.
According to a study held by Strategy Analytics, 2012′s LTE unit shipments will grow to reach 67 million. This comes as a huge leap, as 2011′ LTE device shipments only reached 6.8 million. Such numbers are global calculations, but we can see this phenomena taking place even here, in the US.
Major carriers in the US, like Verizon and Sprint, are planning on releasing mostly (if not only) LTE smartphones and tablets from now on. Except for T-Mobile, who won’t be jumping on board until 2013. Odds are that anyone getting a smartphone with Sprint, Verizon and AT&T soon, will be purchasing an LTE capable device. And the same will apply for T-Mobile soon enough.
LTE’s faster speeds come with a few caveats, though. For one, battery efficiency is not optimal in this network. My battery almost doubles when I turn off my 4G LTE radios. But this is an issue that manufacturers have been starting to improve. Devices like the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note and Droid RAZR Maxx are reporting a full work-day of battery life. Even when connected to the 4G LTE networks.
We have also seen Verizon’s many issues with the network. Country-wide LTE blackouts started to become more usual than they should be. But this is something that is starting to disappear, as well. As the technology advances, we will start seeing all these flaws disappear. With LTE becoming the standard in mobile communications.
And these shipment numbers will especially increase once the “almighty” iPhone gets LTE connectivity. Which is something we should expect to see with the upcoming iteration of the popular iOS device. Apple has already released LTE versions of the iPad, something that should come as a signal of faster speeds to come to iPhone fans.
Until then, we will have to sit back and see how LTE technology evolves. I am starting to see more and more LTE users walking around my city. And things are not about to slow down, whether we like it or not.
How are you guys enjoying the 4G LTE speeds? Do you see a great future with LTE, or do you think it should be dumped?
STRATEGY ANALYTICS: Global LTE Phone Shipments Will Surge Tenfold to 67 Million Units in 2012
Boston, MA – March 23rd, 2012 –- According 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.”