HTC likely to lose top rank in US 4G market
Daniel Shen, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Thursday 15 March 2012]
Competition for the 4G smartphone market in the US is expected to heat up soon as AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless all have adopted new strategies for the purchase of 4G models, and there is a possibility that HTC will be dethroned from the top vendor ranking in both LTE and WiMAX sectors due to competition from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility, according to industry sources.
HTC had been the top vendor in the US 4G market prior to the third quarter of 2011, but its top rank position has been challenged by Apple, Samsung, LG and Motorola since the fourth quarter of last year, the sources indicated.
According to data compiled by NPD, the ratio of 4G models, including models supporting LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+, to total smartphone sales in the US reached 35% in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to a 6% share a year earlier.
In the fourth quarter alone, HSPA+ models, led by iPhone 4S, accounted for 22% of total smartphone sales, followed by LTE models at 7% and WiMAX models 6%, the data showed.
To compete neck and neck with rival vendors, HTC recently launched its new LTE smartphone, the HTC Titan II in cooperation with AT&T. It also plans to release the LTE-enabled HTC One XL in the middle of 2012, the sources indicated. HTC is also expected to continue to cooperate with T-Mobile USA in the HSPA+ segment.