Infonetics Research recently released excerpts from its fourth quarter 2012 (4Q12) and year-end 3G and 4G mobile broadband devices and subscribers market share and forecast report. The comprehensive report tracks over 50 mobile broadband market segments and sub-segments, including smartphones, operating systems (OS), routers, cards, USBs, embedded devices (such as tablets) and subscribers, all by the type of network they connect to, including Long Term Evolution (LTE), W-CDMA/HSPA, and other networks.
“FDD-LTE was the biggest driver for smartphone growth in the final quarter of 2012, with unit growth of 151 percent, the second straight quarter of triple-digit growth,” reports Julien Blin, directing analyst for consumer electronics and mobile broadband at Infonetics Research. “TDD-LTE smartphones are also ramping fast, albeit from a much smaller base, despite a temporary dip in growth in the fourth quarter. In 2012, five times as many W-CDMA/HSPA smartphones shipped as LTE smartphones. By 2015 we expect LTE smartphones to overtake W-CDMA/HSPA.”
Blin adds, “Similarly in the tablet space, the growing popularity of low-cost LTE tablets, shared data plans, and improved LTE network coverage (especially in developed markets like North America and Western Europe), will drive LTE-enabled tablets to close the gap on WiFi-only tablets by 2017.”
Click through for the latest figures from the mobile device market, as identified by Infonetics Research.
The global smartphone market totaled $247 billion in 2012, up 51 percent from 2011.
Owing to the introduction of the iPhone5, Apple regained its lead in smartphone revenue market share in 4Q12 with 37 percent, followed by Samsung with 29 percent; Samsung maintains its lead in smartphone unit share.
Sales of tablets reached $42 billion worldwide in 2012, jumping 281 percent over 2011.
In 2012, shipments of standalone USB mobile broadband cards grew steadily, driven by W-CDMA shipments in developing countries and LTE growth in developed markets.
Meanwhile, embedded cards declined as the more functional tablet segment overshadowed embedded PCs and mobile Internet devices (MIDs).
Infonetics expects the number of global mobile broadband subscribers (phone and PC) to grow from 1.2 billion in 2012 to close to three billion by 2017.