updated 11:25 am EDT, Wed October 12, 2011
NPD finds 22 percent of Q2 phones have 4G support
During the last quarter in the US market, about 22 percent of all smartphones sold supported 4G networks, the NPD Group found. This is a huge jump from last year's quarter, which saw only three percent of all smartphones be 4G capable. The growth is no doubt due to the added number of available 4G services and devices, such as Verizon's LTE network.
Since Sprint first offered a 4G service, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T have done the same, albeit often using pseudo-4G such as HSPA+ or WiMAX. Sprint now sells more 4G smartphones than 3G ones, and is the only carrier to do so.
NPD also broke down the 4G phones by manufacturer, with HTC emerging as the most popular, at 62 percent. It makes the top three best-selling handsets, with the Evo 4G, Inspire 4G and Thunderbolt. Samsung sits in a distant second, at 22 percent, with Motorola third at 11 percent and LG next with four percent.
Apple's newly released iPhone 4S has support for 14.4Mbps HSPA+ networks, which are being labeled 4G by some carriers, and its wild popularity should boost the 4G numbers during the summer and fall. NPD included handsets that support HSPA+, WiMAX and LTE networks that offer speeds of 14Mbps or higher in its definition of 4G devices, which would include Apple. BlackBerry and Windows Phone-based smartphones that support 4G are expected out sometime in 2012.