Samsung, LG Electronic, and HTC are worried that their shipments are not enough to meet demand due to short supply of Long Term Evolution solution chips by Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), the only provider of LTE chips currently on the market.
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According to Taiwan-based smartphone supply chain makers, international vendors did not anticipate the high demand for LTE smartphones, and they are now concerned over whether they will be able to meet these demands. Qualcomm’s short supply of LTE chips is due to insufficient 28nm foundry capacities and the shortage of LTE chips. Sources point out that the shortage of LTE chips will not be eased until the fourth quarter of 2012.
Global demand for LTE smartphones is estimated in 2012 at 60-70 million units. In the first quarter of 2012, Samsung was the largest vendor of LTE smartphones with a global market share of 57 percent followed by Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) with 17 percent and LG with 13 percent.
The main mobile telecom carriers to promote LTE services today include Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) in the U.S. market; SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) and KT (NYSE:KT) in the South Korea market; as well as NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM) in the Japan market. At present, there are 72 commercialized LTE networks in 37 countries, with an expected 134 networks in 57 countries by the end of 2012.
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