2013 Poised For Record 275 Million LTE Smartphones

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smartphone industryThanks to the Mayan calendar being out of whack, you will probably be around this year to see record numbers posted regarding 4G technology and smartphones. Strategy Analytics recently released a study which they say points to sales of around 275 million units of LTE smartphones being sold globally this year. That would be an incredible three-fold increase from the 90.9 million units which shipped in 2012, and Strategy Analytics said the major countries driving LTE grow in 2013 will be the United States, UK, Japan, China and South Korea.

Neil Shah is a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, and he stated, “We forecast global LTE smartphone shipments to triple from 90.9 million units in 2012 to 275.0 million in 2013.” What exactly does LTE mean, and why is its predicted growth in the smartphone industry so impressive? LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and is generally listed as a wireless connectivity feature as “4G LTE”. It is a standard for wireless communication at high speeds for mobile phones and data terminals, and is based on GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies.

The increase in capacity and speed over 3G is substantial, and since we live in a “I want it now” society, quicker upload and download speeds and call connections are demanded by today’s smartphone shoppers. And while AT&T and Verizon Wireless in the United States both claim to own the largest 4G LTE network, some research conducted in 2012 by independent wireless reviewer RootMetrics shows a clear-cut winner in both speed and consistency in offering 4G LTE connections.

RootMetrics compiled research from January to June of last year from nearly 500,000 cellular data tests on the four major wireless carriers in the US. Using “off-the-shelf” smartphones, they published their results in September of 2012, and Verizon showed nearly a 3 to 1 advantage in consistently providing 4G LTE speeds over AT&T. T-Mobile came next, and Sprint had only just begun to release their first 4G LTE network at the time these results were posted.

Handsets like the Droid Razr MAXX HD run on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE system in the United States, and with a speedy dual core 1.5 GHz processor, 1.0 GB of RAM memory and 32 GB of onboard storage, the Android smartphone is perfect for a 4G LTE network like Verizon’s. As of November of last year, Verizon operated 440 LTE markets in the United States, with AT&T claiming 103 markets at that time. Sprint promised 100 markets in the United States with 4G LTE connectivity by the end of 2012, and exact numbers were not available as of this writing.

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