LTE technology was supported by a third of all mobile phones shipped in Western Europe during the second quarter of this year, according to new figures from IDC.
The 4G standard represented 32 per cent of the 43.3 million mobile phones (smartphones and feature phones) shipped in the period. Within the smartphone sector alone, LTE accounted for 43 per cent of total shipments.
“Although most consumers do not subscribe yet to an LTE data plan when renewing their smartphones, it is important for mobile operators to enable their users with LTE handsets while the expansion of their LTE networks continues,” commented Francisco Jeronimo, European mobile devices research director at IDC. “When the networks are widely available geographically it will be faster to migrate users to an LTE data plan as they become cheaper.”
The Western European mobile phone market as a whole saw 2.6 per cent year-on-year growth in shipments, but a slight decline sequentially. This should not come as a huge surprise; the second quarter is often the weakest in the region as operators are more cautious listing new handsets for the Christmas campaign. Consumers also often prefer to hold purchases for the latest flagship devices or wait for price reductions on current models once new products arrive.
The feature phone segment continued to shrink as shipments fell 27 per cent year-on-year to 10.7 million units. The smartphone segment increased 19 per cent year-on-year to 32.6 million units in the quarter to represent 75 per cent of total shipments in the region.
Top Western European Mobile Phone Vendors, Total Shipments and Market Share, 2Q13 – Smartphones and Feature Phones (Units in Millions)
Source: IDC European Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, August 2013
In terms of operating systems, Android continued to be the leading OS in Western Europe. In the second quarter, shipments went up 29 per cent year-on-year to 23.2 million units, which gave Android a 71 per cent market share, the highest ever in the region.
Apple’s iOS lost market share due to the expectation of a new iPhone coming out in the third quarter, representing 17.4 per cent of total shipments in the period, which is lower than the 19.4 per cent in the second quarter last year. Windows Phone continued to see steady but slow growth. Shipments increased by 48 per cent year-on-year to 2 million units, or 6.3 per cent of total smartphone shipments.