Infonetics Reports on Mobile Devices and Mobile Broadband Services

Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 1st quarter 2013 (1Q13) 3G and 4G Mobile Broadband Devices and Subscribers market share, size and forecasts report.   The comprehensive report tracks over 50 mobile broadband market segments and sub-segments, including smartphones, operating systems (OS), routers, cards, USBs, embedded devices (such as tablets) and subscribers, all by the type of network they connect to, including Long Term Evolution (LTE), W-CDMA/HSPA and other networks.

.    The global 3G/4G mobile broadband device market, including smartphones, embedded devices and routers, totaled $93 billion in 1Q13, dropping off 6% from 4Q12
.    Tablets comprised 89% of embedded device units in 1Q13
.    By 2017, Infonetics expects FDD-LTE mobile broadband tablets to edge out WiFi-only tablets in revenue share, with the higher selling price of connected tablets playing a key role
.    Windows 8 is struggling to make a dent in the smartphone operating system (OS) segment, but did pass Blackberry in 1Q13 to take 3rd place behind big gorillas Andriod and iOS
.    Tablets have dealt a death blow to the netbook: leading netbook manufacturers Acer and Asus announced
plans to cease production of netbooks

“The growing popularity of low-cost, WiFi-only tablets like Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire is having a direct and negative impact on embedded mobile broadband cards, as the vast majority of embedded device units come from connected tablets,” notes Richard Webb, Infonetics Research’s directing analyst for microwave and carrier WiFi.

Webb adds: “Both unit shipments and revenue for the embedded card segment sank by double digits in 1Q13 from the previous quarter and the year-ago quarter.”

Infonetics’ quarterly mobile broadband report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2017, analysis and trends for smartphones, smartphone OS (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Linux, Palm, Symbian, Windows Mobile, other), netbook OS (Linux, Mac, Windows, other), tablet OS (Android, iOS, Windows, other), USBs, cards, routers, embedded devices (PCs, netbooks, tablets, mobile internet devices) and subscribers. Companies tracked: Apple, Dell, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Novatel Wireless, Qualcomm, RIM, Samsung, Sierra Wireless, Sony, ZTE and others.

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2G, 3G, 4G Mobile Services and Subscribers: Voice, SMS/MMS, and Broadband (2013 Edition)

This report tracks mobile services revenue, mobile voice and data average revenue per user (ARPU), and mobile voice and broadband subscribers.


  • For the full year 2012, global mobile service revenue – including voice, SMS/MMS and broadband – totaled $739 billion, up 2.5% from 2011
  • Mobile data (text messaging, mobile broadband) service revenue rose in all major world regions in 2012, boosted by an increase in smartphone usage
  • Though more subscribers are migrating from voice-only plans to data-centric packages, voice services are still expected to account for almost half of total mobile service revenue in 2017
  • LTE broadband is growing the fastest of any mobile services category, with an Infonetics-projected compound annual growth rate of 55% for 2012–2017
  • Infonetics forecasts global mobile LTE broadband subscribers to near 570 million by 2017, with most concentrated in North America and Asia Pacific

“Overall, the wireless industry remains resilient and continues to perform above expectations during a period of global economic malaise and increasing mobile saturation,” notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

“In fact, we found that local regulatory conditions and high mobile penetration rates are the key factors affecting mobile service revenue rather than economic conditions,” Téral continues, “Except in Europe, where unabated economic turmoil continues to take a toll as consumers set less and less money aside for mobile products and services, weighing on Europe’s BIG 5 – Vodafone, Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, France Télécom and Telecom Italia.”


Infonetics’ biannual mobile services report provides worldwide and regional market size, forecasts through 2017, analysis and trends for mobile broadband, SMS/MMS and voice mobile service revenue, ARPU and subscribers by technology (GSM, W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA, cdmaOne, CDMA2000, FDD-LTE, TDD-LTE). The report features a Mobile Broadband Service Tracker following service provider deployments by country, technology and number of subscribers. 

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