Market Insight- Global 4G (LTE) Devices Market
In telecommunication, long-term evolution or LTE is a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices. Mobile devices are portable, compact, and lightweight computing devices, featured with touch or non-touch display screen an optional mini-keyboard. Smartphone refers to an advanced version of basic mobile phone with various advanced features. A smartphone operates on different types of operating systems namely Blackberry OS, Android OS, iOS, Windows, and others. Furthermore, a tablet refers to wireless, portable computer with touchscreen interface, which is relatively smaller than computer though larger than a smartphone. These devices are available at multi-brand stores, single brand stores, and online shopping platforms such as eBay, Alibaba, and Amazon.
The global 4G (LTE) devices market was valued at US$ 429.7 Bn in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecasted period (2019-2027)
Market Dynamics- Drivers
- Increasing demand for advanced networking technology is expected to drive growth of the global 4G (LTE) devices market during the forecast period
Growing adoption of smartphones worldwide has accelerated data traffic, resulting in growing strain on communication infrastructure. This has compelled telecommunication service providers to upgrade 4G (LTE) networks, in order to ensure capacity and meet consumer requirements at affordable costs. These factors are, in turn, expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. For instance, in September 2015, Micomax Informatics, an Indian mobile handset manufacturer, collaborated with MediaTek, Inc., a Taiwan-based semiconductor company, to use the premium smartphone chips made by the latter in its smartphones in order to enhance performance and efficiency of its devices. Micromax launched mid-range 4G-LTE phones namely Micromax Canvas Fire 4G that runs on Mediatek’s MT6735 chips. The primary aim of this collaboration was to accelerate 4G accessibility in the country.
- Advancement in IoT resulting in wide range of new and superior connectivity options are expected to propel the global 4G (LTE) devices market growth over the forecast period
Rampant development in IoT has resulted in integration of vast network of smart, cellular connected devices and machines. This, in turn, has let to introduction of a variety of connectivity options that are expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period. For instance, in June 2016, Qualcomm Technologies secured over 100 designs of modems, especially for IoT concept thereby aiding LTE technology being transformed into cohesive and scalable IoT platform. It will also address connectivity and power challenges in number of applications such as commercial applications, industrial design, and smart cities. Thus, these factors are expected to support the market growth in the near future.
Asia Pacific region dominated the global 4G (LTE) devices market in 2018, accounting for 38.6% share in terms of value, followed by Europe and North America, respectively.
Source: Coherent Market Insights
Market Dynamics- Restraints
- Complex regulatory scenarios in various countries are expected to restrain growth of the global 4G (LTE) devices market during the forecast period
Heavy tax imposed on devices by governments of various countries and other regulatory scenarios, especially in price sensitive economies are expected to hinder the market growth up to certain extent. For instance, in July 2015, the Government of Indonesia implemented measures to mandate using local components and hardware in smartphones that are locally manufactured. Moreover, it imposed 20% extra tax on imported mobile phones. Consumers would be required pay more for imported brands of 4G-enabled smartphones. This, in turn, is expected to restrain the global 4G (LTE) devices market growth in the near future.
- Low awareness regarding 4G-LTE in some countries is expected to hamper the global 4G (LTE) devices market growth over the forecast period
Some countries such as the U.K. have sufficiently functioning 3G networks with high speeds. This has limited the improvement of network infrastructure to 4G (LTE) infrastructure. Furthermore, low awareness concerning benefits of 4G-LTE is expected to hamper the global 4G (LTE) devices market growth over the forecast period. According to the latest Internet report by Akamai in 2016, mobile users in the U.K. experience average 3G network speed of 27.9 Mbps, which is higher than Internet speeds in the rest of Europe. This, in turn, limits the penetration of 4G LTE in the country. Moreover, in October 2016, All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) planned to educate its members about the 4G LTE experience with the aim being that retailers can share the information with potential consumers. Thus, limited awareness/knowledge related to 4G (LTE) is a major hampering factor.
- Growing demand for low-cost smartphones in emerging economies is expected to pose lucrative growth opportunity
Consumers in emerging economies increasingly adopting low-cost 4G LTE-enabled smartphones with advanced features. Thus, manufacturers are focused on offering low-cost 4G LTE smartphones, in order to expand their consumer base. For instance, in April 2016, Philcomm Communication Company Ltd. introduced its cheapest smartphone ‘Philcomm Clue 360’ in the India market and was priced at US$ 60. Furthermore, according to Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA)’s consumer survey in countries such Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, China, and India, consumers often prioritize data reception over processor speed, camera resolution, memory capacity, and screen size. This, in turn, is expected to pose lucrative growth opportunity for market players.
- Positive impact of IoT on 4G-LTE device sales and adoption is expected offer significant business opportunity
Rising penetration of IoT worldwide due to high usage of connected devices has presented a lucrative opportunity to invest in 4G-LTE networks. Moreover, 4G-LTE network offers increased traffic-carrying capacity, scalability, minimum latency, and better network efficiency, which is the basic requirement of IoT infrastructures. For instance, in July 2016, Aeris Communications, Inc. upgraded its existing Neo service to offer 4G-LTE high-speed wireless data communication for enterprises, enabling consumers to reduce costs and enhance operational efficiency.
Source: Coherent Market Insights
- Better screen size and quality of smartphones coupled with evolution of network are major trend in the market
Smartphones manufacturers are offering mobile phones with larger screen and clear display, in order to expand their consumer base. Increasing demand for enhanced video content has resulted in transformation of phones from 2K to 4K screens. Moreover, mobile technology and internet connectivity have witnessed significant evolution, which in turn, is expected to boost the demand for 4G-LTE devices. For instance, premium smartphone makers such as Samsung, LG, and Apple are offering high-pixel resolution for smartphone screens with screen size exceeding five inches, making it a standard for other market players.
- Paradigm shift from 3G to 4G cellular data network is another major trend
Consumer demand is rapidly shifting towards devices that offer innovative features and reduced latency. The difference between 3G and 4G networks is noticeable while streaming HD videos or playing online games. 4G (LTE) facilitate consumers to access content and data at a relatively higher speed as compared to 3G, which in turn, is propelling transition from 3G to 4G cellular networks.
On the basis of device type, the global 4G (LTE) devices market is segmented into smartphones and tablets. Smartphones segment accounting for 80.8% share in terms of value, followed by tablets.
Source: Coherent Market Insights
- The European Telecommunications Standards Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, standardization organization in the telecommunications industry in Europe, headquartered in Sophia-Antipolis, France, with worldwide projection. It published few ETSI standards on long term evolution (LTE) listed as follows: TS 131 124, TR 131 905, TS 134 229-1, TS 134 229-2, and more.
Value Chain Analysis
Key players operating in the global 4G (LTE) devices market are Apple Inc., ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Lenovo Group, LG Electronics, Panasonic Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Xiaomi Inc., and ZTE Corporation.
- Key companies in the market are focused on partnerships and collaborations, in order to gain competitive edge in the market. For instance, in February 2018, Samsung Electronics, Inc. collaborated with Verizon Communications Inc. where Samsung will assist in advancing Verizon’s 4G LTE Open RAN initiative.
- Key companies are focused on product launch, in order to expand their product portfolio. For instance, in February 2016, ZTE Corporation introduced a device that supports LTE on power solution, which reduces indoor coverage blind spots and offers 4G access in elevators, garages, and other hard-to-reach areas.