Global sales of smartphones that run on the so-called long-term evolution (LTE) network are expected to almost triple this year from a year earlier, data showed Monday.
According to the data compiled by research firm Strategic Analysis Inc., a total of 270 million smartphones running on the LTE network will be sold this year, accounting for 29 percent of total smartphone shipment around the globe.
Last year, a total of 92 million LTE smartphones were sold, garnering a 13.1 percent share in the global smartphone market, the data showed.
Given that LTE services are currently only available in S. Korea, Japan and part of the North American region, the growth of smartphones running on the LTE network is spectacular, market watchers said.
The research firm forecasts that worldwide ownership of LTE smartphones will further rise, reaching 41.5 percent in 2015, while 3G-based smartphones will stand at 39.6 percent.
In 2017, around half of all smartphones will run on the LTE network, it forecasts.
South Korea's three major handset makers -- Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Pantech Co. -- grabbed more than a 30 percent share of the global long-term evolution (LTE) phone market in the first quarter, earlier data showed.
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest smartphone maker, ranked second by shipping 10.3 million handsets running on the LTE service in the first quarter for a market share of 25 percent, according to data compiled by Strategy Analytics.
LG Electronics, the world's No.3 smartphone maker, came in third with a shipment of 2.8 million LTE phones in the January-March period, accounting for a 6.8 percent share. Pantech, South Korea's No.3 handset maker, clinched a 2.9 percent share of the global LTE phone market with a shipment of 1.2 million in the first quarter, the data showed. (Yonhap News)