The connected era is here and this is being possible by the evolving cellular network infrastructure, flatter all-IP scalable core network and advanced high-throughput cellular access technology. While many countries are quickly moving from pan-urban LTE coverage to almost pan-country LTE coverage, the users with LTE ready devices are growing at a much faster pace than actual network roll-outs. More and more OEMs are shipping LTE ready handsets to differentiate as well as stimulate the next wave of devices upgrade globally. 2014 was a pivotal here for LTE phone shipments as many vendors were quickly expanding the LTE portfolio, as a result:
- LTE phone shipments grew a massive 118% or more than doubled in a year reaching slightly under 500 million units for the full year 2014
- LTE became the leading cellular-interface technology powering the mobile phones during the Q4 2014, as the total LTE phone shipments in the quarter surpassed the total 3G (e.g.WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+) shipments for the first time ever
- China surpassed USA to become the largest market in terms of LTE smartphone shipments during the quarter as we predicted here
- China & US were the biggest markets driving LTE shipment volumes with a combined share of almost 60% of the total LTE phones shipped globally during the quarter
- On the other hand, market such as India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brazil and so forth are seeing first wave of LTE phones.
- Apple was the leading LTE phone supplier with rising demand for its new iPhones, one in three LTE phone shipped on the planet was an iPhone
- Apple & Samsung together captured more than half of the global LTE segment volumes down from three-fourth of the combined share in Q4 2013, as Chinese brands are taking share away from incumbents in the high growth China LTE market
- Huawei surpased Lenovo, LG to become the third largest LTE phone supplier during the quarter
- Apple captured almost two-third of the total LTE phone revenues during the quarter and almost 80% of the premium LTE phone revenues
- In terms of mobile phone chipsets, Qualcomm was the number one supplier powering the LTE phones capturing more than 84% share globally
- One in three phones sold globally now is a LTE capable phone
This means, LTE technology is quickly becoming a de-facto standard in mobile handsets and will become more ubiquitous with scale, trickling down the price-tiers and proliferating faster than any cellular access technology ever. LTE also opens up plethora of opportunities for all the players in value chain from component suppliers to manufacturers to operators to app, content and services providers to drive highly-connected use-cases, form-factors and greater on-device usage.
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