Thursday, April 19, 2012

87 Million 4G Devices Will Ship In 2012

According to a recent ABI Research report, 4G devices are moving rapidly from the assembly line to retail stores.

Here's some details:
  • Refers to a range of 4G-enabled mobile devices, from USB dongles, smartphones, tablets, 4G portable hotspots, and wireless broadband CPE modems
  •  4G devices are expected to generate 87 million in unit sales in 2012, up 294% year-on-year.
  • 61 million 4G handsets being shipped in 2012.
  • 26 million 4G non-handset products (e.g. USB dongles for legacy laptops and netbooks, by premise equipment, home modems, etc) will be shipped
  • The lion’s share of the market is now backing LTE as service provider and vendor support has fallen away from WiMAX.
  • There is a natural evolutionary demand from 3G end-users, both business and consumer, to jump onto the 4G data bandwagon. 
  • Mobile device vendors are experiencing intense competitive pressure, which is expected to bring down LTE handset prices, estimated at 10 to 20 percent over the next two years.
It's not all good though. There are still some big technical issues that need to be worked out including the recent Australian iPad 3 promotion fiasco, when iPad 3s were being promoted as being ‘LTE-ready,’ even though the modem is unable to access the Australian LTE spectrum band

In addition, some customers will not be ready this year to pay a premium for 4G handsets and 4G services. 

As a reference, in a February 2012 report Forrester predicted by 2016 one billion people will own smart phones. 

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