Following the recent launch of the UK’s first 4G network, EE, new figures have suggested shipments of 4G smartphones will triple in 2013.
Seemingly set to make the jump from the 91 million 4G smartphones in 2012, to the predicted 275 million 4G smartphones expected to be shipped globally in 2013, the rising figures show the rapidly rising uptake of the new high-speed wireless service in leading nations.
The figures, compiled by research firm Strategy Analytics, have suggested that 4G smartphone shipments will rise a whopping 203 per cent year-on-year in 2013 with all of the smartphone sector’s key players being forced to offer 4G LTE variants of their key, flagship devices.
"It is clear that 2013 will be the year of 4G. LTE smartphone shipments worldwide will exceed a quarter-billion units for the first time," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
"Multiple operators and multiple phone vendors will be launching dozens of LTE models across numerous countries worldwide. LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, component maker, or device vendor can afford to ignore."
With the likes of Apple, Samsung, HTC, BlackBerry and Motorola already firmly rooted in the 4G smartphone market and with Huawei and ZTE rapidly closing the gap on the big players, industry insiders have warned that growing competition will make it harder for new manufacturers to successfully enter the 4G scene.
"We caution possible new entrants like Amazon will not find it easy to break into the fiercely competitive LTE smartphone market and they will need breakthrough products that are strongly differentiated in areas such as design, price, or services," Strategy Analytics analyst Linda Sui said
Although EE is current the UK’s only 4G network, this is set to change during the first half of 2013 with the UK’s 4G spectrum sale expected to see the likes of Vodafone, O2 and Three all join the superfast revolution party.
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