LTE Smartphone Shipments Could Reach 275 Million in 2013

Research firm Strategy Analytics predicts that shipments of 4G LTE smartphones will triple 2012's figures next year.

It foresees shipments increasing to 275 million next year vs this year's 91 million, which would represent a rise of 203 percent. Companies set to lead the market for 4G LTE devices are Apple with the iPhone 5, Samsung with its Galaxy S3 and LG.

Other vendors expected to contribute to the emerging 4G LTE market includes Nokia, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Huawei, ZTE and Pantech. Growth in LTE smartphones will particularly be driven by demand in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, China and South Korea.

"It is clear that 2013 will be the year of 4G. LTE smartphone shipments worldwide will exceed a quarter-billion units for the first time," said Neil Mawston, executive director 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, component maker, or device vendor can afford to ignore."

Companies fairly new to the smartphone/tablet market such as Amazon and Mozilla will try to contribute to the 4G LTE market as well, but the research company believes such firms will face stiff competition.

"We caution possible new entrants like Amazon will not find it easy to break into the fiercely competitive LTE smartphone market and they will need breakthrough products that are strongly differentiated in areas such as design, price, or services," explained Strategy Analytics analyst Linda Sui.

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