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March 25, 2012

Worldwide LTE phone shipments to grow tenfold in 2012: report

Apple, Samsung and HTC are among the key vendors to push this market

By CBR Staff Writer

Worldwide LTE phone shipments will grow tenfold to reach 67 million units in 2012 from 6.8 million units in 2011, according to a new research by Strategy Analytics.

The research firm indicated that key vendors leading the push into LTE phones will include Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Pantech and Fujitsu.

Strategy Analytics Analyst Neil Shah said 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," Shah said.

Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said 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," Mawston added.

Strategy Analytics director Tom Kang said 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.

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"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," Kang said.

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