According to the latest granular research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, the global LTE smartphone shipments grew 91% annually in Q1 2014 reaching more than a fourth of the total smartphone shipments during the quarter.
Key highlights of the report are:
- LTE smartphones reached its highest ever first quarter shipments contributing to more than a fourth of the total smartphones shipments globally in Q1 2014
- USA accounted for one in three LTE smartphones shipped globally
- China surpassed Korea in terms of LTE smartphone shipments and will soon overtake Japan by the end of this year to become the second largest LTE smartphone market globally behind USA
- Among OEMs Apple, Samsung & LG dominated global LTE landscape with a combined share of more than three-fourths of the total LTE market
- Apple was the leading LTE smartphone with 42% share inspite of its narrow portfolio leveraging its wider distribution reach and huge share in premium smartphone market
- Samsung saw a slight increase in its LTE smartphone share as it more than doubled its volumes compared to Q1 2013, thanks to its wider portfolio, reach and marketing muscle. Samsung’s LTE portfolio spans from the premium Galaxy Note III to mid-tier Galaxy Core LTE
- Both Samsung & Apple enjoyed higher share in LTE segment also due to stronger performance in key LTE markets such as USA, Canada, Japan and Korea.
- However, in second half we expect the share for both the top brands to reduce (but not significant decline in volumes) a bit as the Chinese OEMs such as Coolpad, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE & others ramp up their LTE smartphone shipments at China Mobile with highly competitive sub-1000 yuan phones.
- The top five fastest growing smartphone brands were Kyocera, ZTE, Huawei, Sony and LG obviusly growing on a smaller base compared to Apple & Samsung but capturing market share as growing faster than the overall market
- LG should be able to continue its good growth story in coming quarters in this segment with the recent launch of its highly promising flagship LG G3 to take share away from rivals in premium LTE segment
- Huawei & ZTE will try to dominate in entry- to mid-tier wholesale price bands in LTE smartphones with majority of volumes coming from China and prepaid segments of US & Europe
- Counterpoint expects a rising trend for an super-LTE phones which is a multi-mode, multi-band devices including TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE capabilities in-built into the device as OEMs look forward to realize scale across operator and open retail channels with minimal SKUs.
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