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4G/LTE smartphone shipments to surpass 1 billion in 2016


If before you continue reading you don’t know what’s in a G in network terms, click here.

According to market intelligence provider IDC we should see more and more people around the globe buying LTE devices as technology catches up with their demand for faster internet access. In Zambia, with only a few providers even offering 4G connectivity, we hope it catches up too.

IDC reports that ‘much of this growth is coming from emerging markets (Asia/Pacific excluding Japan, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa), where only 61% of 2015 smartphone shipments were 4G-enabled compared to IDC’s 2016 projection of 77%. Mature markets (USA, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe) are further along the 4G adoption curve with 85% in 2015 and a projected 94% in 2016, respectively.’

“Why is LTE such a big deal?”

Uhm, only for the simple reason that it’s faster and can be used in many applications, especially now that much investment is being made in the Internet of things (IoT) sector everywhere, and nope, smarter objects will not make us dumb. I think….

LTE smartphones may be a bigger deal because their price may also drop in relation to today. Currently they are the premium devices being sold by many brands but keep in mind that 5G is being experimented with/on as we speak and may be commercialized by 2020, meaning 4G will be what EDGE devices are to us now. This will mean more sales and users of the technology.

Source: Blogarama
Source: Blogarama

No really, 5G is estimated to be about 1000 times faster than LTE! There are some pros and cons of 4G which may be better in 5G networks.

Currently the mobile operators offering 4G/LTE are Vodafone, MTN and recently Zamtel (only in the Copperbelt province).

The Economic Times (India) predicted that ‘telcos will increase adoption rate of LTE-A to support transition to 5G and operators will be extending service reach to non-SIM devices such as tablets and watches; they will also integrate real-time features into IoT initiatives, such as smart homes and connected cars. The proportion of mobile operators that offer fixed broadband services will rise to above 50% worldwide in 2016.’

Coming back to LTE, most operators are also partnering with telecoms retailers and using infrastructure that requires LTE and even LTE-Advanced technology, so that’s where the heavier industrial use of it will come from.

The IDC report adds that ‘Android smartphones will total 1.46 billion by 2020, equivalent to a market share of 85.6 percent, while iOS is set to rise by 2.5 percent to a 14.2 percent market share on 2020 shipments of 243.6 million.’

Here are the shipments of devices using the various operating system platforms globally in 2016 and the projections for 2020:

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments by OS, Market Share, and Annual Growth (shipments in millions)
Platform 2016 Shipment Volume* 2016 Market Share* 2016 YoY Growth* 2020 Shipment Volume* 2020 Market Share* 2020 YoY Growth* 5 Year CAGR*
Android 1,228.8 85.0% 5.2% 1,464.7 85.6% 4.2% 4.6%
iOS 206.1 14.3% -11.0% 243.6 14.2% 2.5% 1.0%
Windows Phone 6.1 0.4% -79.1% 1.0 0.1% -19.3% -48.6%
Others 4.5 0.3% -50.0% 1.0 0.1% -7.3% -35.3%
Total 1,445.4 100.0% 0.6% 1,710.3 100.0% 4.8% 3.5%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, November 29, 2016



Tech Blogger & Marketer.