IDC estimates over 1 billion 4G smartphones sold by end of 2016
Thanks to falling retail prices and wider availability, smartphones supporting 4G LTE connectivity are now selling at faster rates. According to market analysts from IDC, 4G LTE-capable smartphones are expected to grow 21.3 percent YoY to 1.17 billion units from 967 million in 2015. In total, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.45 billion units for a YoY increase of 0.6 percent.
The growth in 4G LTE smartphones can also be attributed to growing demand in emerging markets including certain Asian-Pacific regions. In India, for example, certain local network providers like Reliance Jio are offering deals on inexpensive 4G smartphones and have been reporting extremely swift sales ever since.
Google Android continues to be the dominant operating system for smartphones with more than 1.2 billion Android devices expected to sell in this year alone. This corresponds to a market share of 85 percent compared to 14.3 percent from Apple's iOS or approximately 206.1 million iPhone devices. Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform is but a footnote at just 0.4 percent of the market share.
Chinese smartphone manufacturers have expressed interest in expanding their products overseas to avoid stagnating sales in their own home region.