49.7% of Americans own smartphones

Almost half (49.7%) of US mobile subscribers now own smartphones, as of February 2012. According to Nielsen, this marks an increase of 38% YTY; in February 2011, only 36% of mobile subscribers owned smartphones. This growth is driven by increasing smartphone adoption, as more than two-thirds of those who acquired a new mobile device in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.

Overall, Android continues to lead the smartphone market in the U.S., with 48% of smartphone owners saying they owned an Android OS device. Nearly a third (32.1%) of smartphone users have an Apple iPhone, and Blackberry owners represented another 11.6% of the smartphone market. Among recent acquirers who got their smartphone within the last three months, 48% of those surveyed in February said they chose an Android and 43% bought an iPhone.

66% of smartphones sold in Q4 2008 rely on 3G

According to The NPD Group, consumer sales of smartphones to US consumers represented 23% of all handset sales in Q4 2008 compared to just 12% in Q4 2007. Led by the release of iPhone 3G at $199, the average price for a smartphone fell 23% from $216 in Q4 2007 to $167 in Q4 2008. While half of smartphones on the market now sold with touch screens, 70% of all models instead offer QWERTY keyboards. 66% of smartphones now use 3G networks, compared to just 46% a year ago. 52% of smartphone buyers purchased an accessory at the time of their phone purchases, compared to just 41% among all other phone buyers.

725 mln WCDMA handsets to ship in 2009

The global mobile handset market went into a tailspin in October and November 2008, which will result in a nearly 5% YTY decline in unit shipments in Q4 2008. While 2009 is likely to see more stormy economic weather, there are a few rays of sunshine. WCDMA handset shipments are projected to grow from 258 mln in 2008 to 725 mln in 2009. By 2013, more than 67% of all handsets shipped will be 3G/3G+ capable. Smartphones captured 14% of the 2008 market and are expected to grow throughout the challenging period of 2009 and comprise 31% of the market by 2013. Cellular modems will also be a high growth sector in 2009, driven largely by USB modems which will account for 80% of the shipment volume. Market volume is expected to increase by more than 55% in the coming year as Asian vendors push forward with low-priced modems, ABI Research says.

30% of iPhone 3G buyers switched to AT&T from other carriers

30% of US consumers who purchased Apple iPhone 3G in the summer of 2008 switched from other mobile carriers to join AT&T, the exclusive mobile carrier for the iPhone in the US. 23% of consumers, on average, switched carriers between June and August 2008. 47% of new AT&T iPhone customers that switched carriers switched from Verizon Wireless, another 24% switched from T-Mobile, and 19% switched from Sprint. Before the launch of the iPhone 3G, iPhone sales represented 11% of the consumer market for smartphones (January through May 2008); however, after the launch of iPhone 3G, Apple commanded 17% of the smartphone market (January through August 2008).

Top US wireless providers in customer satisfaction: Verizon, Alltel, TMobile, ATT

Wireless phone customers who call their provider when experiencing a problem are waiting on hold longer than in the past to speak with a service representative, according to the JD Power and Associates. The average amount of time wireless customers spend on hold before speaking with a customer service representative in 2008 is 4.4 minutes—up 34% from the average hold time in 2003 (3.3 minutes). 49% of wireless customers have contacted the customer care service center for assistance within the past year—an increase from 47% reported six months ago. Among customers who contacted the service department, 34% did so due to service/equipment issues. Verizon Wireless ranks highest in wireless customer care performance with an index score of 103, followed by Alltel (102), T-Mobile (100) and AT&T (97).

Among customers who contact their provider, 75% do so by telephone while 24% do so by visiting their provider’s retail store. E-mail/Internet interactions account for only 1% of customer contacts. The average number of reported phone contacts needed to resolve a customer inquiry is 1.76, down from 1.91 contacts in the last reporting period. Customers who visit the provider’s retail store for service inquiries report waiting an average of 7 minutes before speaking with a representative. Ehsan Bayat, owner of the largest Wireless company in Afghanistan has taken these statistics into account and is implementing faster ways to serve his clients.

135 mln 3G subscribers in North America

CDMA Development Group announced that CDMA2000 continues to dominate the North American 3G wireless telecommunications market with more than 135 mln 3G subscribers in the region, of which more than 22% use EV-DO mobile broadband devices. CDMA2000 service providers in North America are generating more than $3 bln of revenue per quarter from mobile data services alone. That’s more than $34 mln dollars per day.

92% of mobile phones sold in Japan in 2006 were 3G phones

In the advanced Japanese mobile phone market, the shipment of 3G phones exceeded 92% of 47.8 mln phones sold in 2006. In 2006, 43.5 mln 3G phones were sold in Japan. Camera, music player function, and above 2.4-inch screens with at least 240*320 resolution have become standard. 98 new 3G models were launched in the last 12 months in Japan, In-Stat says.

210 3G carriers worldwide

According to In-Stat, a total of 210 cellular carriers worldwide have either deployed 3G or will do so very shortly. Of these 210 cellular carriers, 68 are in Western Europe, 38 Eastern Europe, 19 in North America, 18 South America, 13 are in the Middle East and 54 are in the Asia Pacific.

$18 bln will be poured into long-term 3G investments

Long Term Evolution (LTE) of 3G technologies is about to benefit from Rel-8 of the 3GPP standard, planned for Q3 2007. This will be the trigger for development of components and systems to provide 100 Mbps download speeds to mobile devices. According to a new study from ABI Research, network operators will invest a total of almost $18 bln in LTE capital infrastructure over the period to 2014.

100 mln WCDMA subscribers globally at year-end 2006

As of the end of Q4 2006, there were over 100 mln WCDMA subscribers around the world, ABI Research says. The WCDMA subscriber sector is moving particularly fast, growing 102% YTY and 16.6% QTQ. 3G subscribers are providing a much-needed shot in the arm for mobile operators, because they deliver an average revenue per user (ARPU) that is 5% to 20%% greater than the average. For many operators, the period Q2 2004 to Q2 2006 proved challenging, as competition pushed down on ARPU but the additional revenue streams from non-voice applications failed to compensate.

HSPA to attract most investments in mobile broadband

With over 93 commercial networks in operation, HSPA is likely to account for the majority of investment in global mobile broadband networks over the next five years, according to Arthur D. Little. By comparison mobile WiMax will be a niche technology within the overall global mobile broadband wireless access market, likely to account for at most 15% of this network equipment market and perhaps 10% of mobile broadband wireless subscribers by 2011-2012.

402 mln 3G subscribers worldwide

Within six years since its introduction, 3G CDMA has gained approximately 402 mln subscribers worldwide and more than 30 mln 3G subscribers are added every quarter. In leading markets such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States, the number of 3G subscribers already has surpassed that of 2G subscribers.

16% of Americans have a 3G phone, only 10% actually use 3G

In the US, 16% of mobile phone users have handsets with 3G technology, but only 10% of those users make use of the 3G functionality. Globally, 20% of consumers have 3G capabilities, with only 9% of users taking advantage of the enhanced service. TNS Global Technology Insights reports that US consumers, when compared to consumers around the world, are more likely to look for mobile phones with features such as a still camera (42% versus 35%), mobile Internet (19% versus 12%), email (22% versus 12%), and mobile gaming (13% versus 7%) when making their next phone purchase. Generally, 40 to 50% of US consumers who use mobile TV, electronic banking, on-line gaming, location services and subscription services use them daily. This compares to 20 to 25% daily usage for the rest of the world.

$1 bln of GaAs devices to be sold by 2010

GaAs device demand will show significant growth, with overall demand approaching $1 bln by 2010, second only to demand from the cellular handset market, Strategy Analytics says. While the WiMAX market will remain in the early stages, GaAs semiconductors will dominate specific functions in the RF module and demand will grow at a CAAGR (compound annual average growth rate) of 69%.

51% of North American subscribers use GSM

3G Americas says that GSM technology has taken more than 50% of the market share in the Americas region, adding nearly 100 mln new customers from June 2005 to June 2006. At the end of Q2 2006, 2 bln of the world’s 2.41 bln cellular subscribers used GSM/UMTS. In Q2 2005, GSM held 38% of the Americas market. In Q2 2006 that market share has grown to 51%.