Research company NPD published research on Tuesday in regards to the latest smartphone sales.
According to the latest research, smartphones with 4G connectivity rose to 35% of smartphones sold in Q4 of 2011. This is a huge increase from the 6% in ths same quarter of 2010 when Sprint was the only carrier with 4G.
Until the release of Apple’s iPhone 4s, Android was the only operating system on any 4G network. AT&T considers their version of the iPhone 4s “4G” because it operates on AT&T’s HSPA+ network. AT&T is now in the middle of a nationwide 4G/LTE network.
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“HSPA+, which has combined high throughput with practical power efficiency, has been a compelling evolutionary 4G upgrade option for carriers upgrading GSM networks,” said Ross Rubin, executive director, Connected Intelligence for The NPD Group. “With all major U.S. carriers committing to LTE as their 4G future, it is clearly the cellular network technology that will determine the baseline for the next generation of advanced smartphones.”
While AT&T began rolling out 4G/LTE in late 2011, Verizon has continues an aggressive rollout of their LTE network. Verizon boasts over 200 million pops covered to date in over 190 markets.
With that in mind, LTE smartphones accounted for 7% of the market. Verizon’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s both operate on Verizon’s 3G network.
As for Sprint, they announced at CES that they would begin rolling out 4G/LTE this year with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Prior to that they offered WiMax as their version of 4G. In fact, Sprint was first out of the gate with 4G and the first with an Android phone on 4G with the very popular HTC Evo 4G.
Source: NPD via BGR