The number of global LTE mobile phone shipments will grow tenfold this year, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. 67 million 4G LTE handsets are expected to be shipped worldwide in 2012, up from 6.8 million units in 2011.
Neil Shah, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said “Major countries driving LTE growth this year will include the United States, Japan and South Korea. Multiple operators, such as Verizon Wireless, NTT Docomo and SK Telecom, are aggressively expanding their LTE networks. Key vendors leading the push into LTE phones will include Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Pantech and Fujitsu.”
However, the company notes that networks and consumers will both suffer ‘growing pains’ as a result of this rapid growth. It believes the higher pricing of LTE phones and tariffs will result in increased network subsidies, while consumers will be concerned about battery life, device weight and ‘bill shock’.