In many parts of the world, smartphone shipments account for a larger percentage of mobile handset shipments than feature phones and low-cost handsets. Yet within the smartphone class of devices, segmentation is increasing to three price tiers (low, mid, and high). Shipments of sub-US$250 low-cost smartphones will grow from 259 million in 2013 to 788 million in 2018, according to recent Market Data from market intelligence firm ABI Research.
The spending on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) base stations will hit US$ 12.3 billion in 2013 as countries around the world join the high-speed club. Membership is not exclusive to the developed economies as emerging markets close the digital divide by aggressive network roll-out. Some of these emerging market LTE deployments are government-sponsored initiatives as in Rwanda while others are private ventures as in Sri Lanka.
Smart watches have been around for the last decade. The wearable computing device has failed to take off for one reason or another: they looked ugly, were too bulky, had weak functionality, or the battery life was not good enough. However, over the last nine months a number of new smart watches have emerged that could change consumers’ perceptions. Market intelligence firm ABI Research projects more than 1.2 million smart watches will be shipped in 2013.
Mobile device design is increasingly reliant on integrated platforms, which are chipsets based on combinations of application processor, baseband processor, and wireless connectivity technologies. In 2012, 19 percent of handsets shipped were based on an integrated platform; set to more than double to 46 percent in 2018.
ABI Research reports that Broadcom has put into production one of the world’s smallest multimode (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS) transceivers. The sub 7 sq. mm. 40nm RF chip (BCM2193) was revealed just one week after the discovery of the 40nm RF chip announced last week. Broadcom’s chip was discovered second but it may actually have hit production a week or two prior to the Mediatek solution.
ABI Research finds that Mediatek has delivered the world’s smallest multimode transceiver. Coming just a week after Qualcomm announced its intentions to produce RF front ends for high tier LTE smartphones, Mediatek releases the world’s smallest RF transceiver which is also the world’s first 40 nm transceiver.
Broadcom has been ranked number one vendor in three recent competitive assessments released by ABI Research on wireless connectivity IC markets. One was for overall wireless connectivity ICs, another on Bluetooth ICs, and a final on Wi-Fi ICs.
The total market for open short-range wireless (SRW) technology based ICs, i.e., Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, NFC, and GPS, is expected to reach almost 5 billion units in 2013 and grow to nearly 8 billion by 2018. This includes standalone wireless connectivity ICs, wireless connectivity combo ICs, and also platforms with integrated wireless connectivity.
Alcatel-Lucent has been ranked the number one end-to-end system vendor in the latest enterprise and consumer femtocell competitive assessment released by ABI Research. NEC and NSN claim second and third spots respectively as end-to-end system vendors.
Of all the available backhaul choices for LTE macrocells and small cells, by 2018, sub 6GHz OFDM NLOS technology will become the most popular for “last mile” backhaul. Fiber-based backhaul will be the second most popular choice, where it is available, followed by millimeter wave and the traditional LOS microwave links.