Devices > Handset Country Share Blog

LTE Handsets Won’t Go Away Anytime Soon

by Woody Oh | Dec 06, 2022

We found very interesting trend on the part of LTE-capable handsets penetration in China and South Korea, two major countries with world’s fastest pace in terms of 5G network roll-out and the availablity of 5G-capable handsets in the last three years.

In China, LTE handsets penetration, by shipment, began with 76% in Q1 2020 to end with 25% in Q4 the same year. It remained quite stable, registering 19% in Q1 2021 and 15% in Q4 2021. And it shows somewhat stable (not rapidly falling) penetration around 14% on the average in the first three quarters.

South Korea has shown somewhat more noteworthy trends. LTE handsets penetration, by shipment, was 96% in Q1 2019 (the first quarter 5G handset was available in South Korea), and it sharply fell down to 22% by the end of last year. However, it remained quite stable with 19% ratio in the first three quarters of this year.

Do you guess why? In all likelihood, the relatively stable LTE handset share this year is closely related with (1) market reaction to 5G in terms of differentation and (2) continued propensity to 4G for price reason from consumers side.

More in-detail analysis and volume share can be accessed here.

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