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How Mobile Broadband is Driving a Transformation

Mobile broadband related advances are changing the legacy business models of the telecom sector. In developing nations around the globe, many people will likely encounter the internet for the first time via an inexpensive smartphone.

Infonetics Research has released excerpts from its latest 3G and 4G (LTE, WiMAX) Broadband Devices and Subscribers market study that highlights these changes.

The global study and resulting report tracks smartphones, smartphone OS, mobile broadband USBs, embedded mobile broadband cards and devices, netbook and tablet OS, mobile broadband and WiMAX routers, and mobile broadband subscribers.

"We expect to see some segmentation in the smartphone market in the next 12 to 24 months between high-end 'ultra smart' smartphones and a new breed of 'smart enough' smartphones aimed at the lower end of the market," says Richard Webb, directing analyst at Infonetics Research.

Infonetics says that ZTE and Huawei have already launched lower-cost smartphones this year with others surely to follow, and if they achieve volume, the average selling price of a smartphone very likely will get pushed down.


Highlights from the latest market study include:
  • Global smartphone sales totaled $45.9 billion in the first quarter of 2012, down 3 percent from the typically high fourth quarter.
  • By 2016, Infonetics expects the worldwide smartphone market to hit $237 billion.
  • Apple holds a strong lead in the global smartphone market, with 45.7 percent revenue market share in 1Q12.
  • Samsung, which surpassed HTC about a year ago, easily held on to 2nd place for global smartphone revenue, well ahead of RIM, Nokia, and HTC.
  • The Android operating system (OS) hit its highest market share to date in 1Q12, used in 57 percent of all smartphones shipped.
  • Demand for embedded mobile broadband devices continues unabated, with shipments of MIDs (mobile Internet devices, such as e-readers and mobile gaming consoles) growing the fastest over the next 5 years.
  • Tablets will continue to make up the lion's share of the embedded devices segment, and will be a major focus of activity and innovation in the mobile broadband space, with LTE as a big driver supporting faster speeds for video streaming, multiplayer gaming, and multimedia communications.

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