SAN JOSE, Calif. – Global sales of LTE smartphones will triple in 2013 to 275 million handsets, according to market watchers Strategy Analytics (Boston). When the books are closed on 2012, it estimates vendors will have sold about 90 million LTE handsets.
Much of the growth will come from the U. S, the United Kingdom, Japan, China and South Korea. Multiple operators, such as Verizon Wireless, Everything Everywhere and NTT Docomo, are aggressively expanding their LTE networks, Neil Shah, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
Vendors leading the push into LTE smartphones include Apple, Samsung, LG, Nokia, HTC, Motorola, Blackberry, Huawei, ZTE and Pantech. Popular LTE smartphone models will include Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, he added.
“LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, component maker or device vendor can afford to ignore,” said Neil Mawston, an executive director at Strategy Analytics, noting dozens of new LTE smartphones will be launched in 2013.
“We believe [the growth] will eventually attract new entrants seeking a slice of the 4G pie, such as Amazon or Mozilla,” said Linda Sui, an analyst for the market watcher. “However, we caution possible new entrants like Amazon will not find it easy to break into the fiercely competitive market, and they will need breakthrough products that are strongly differentiated in areas such as design, price or services,” she said.
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