4G To Spur Explosive Growth In Mobile Devices

Emergence of WiMax and long-term evolution will also boost mobile apps for smartphones, netbooks, tablets, and e-readers, finds Datamonitor.

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WiMax and long-term evolution 4G technologies will spur explosive growth in smartphones, which in turn will give rise to widespread use of new applications including gaming, streaming, social networking, video, and music applications as well as specialized apps.

That, at any rate, is the conclusion reached in a report released Tuesday from Datamonitor's Business Insights unit. The report notes that 80% of mobile connections are still generated on 2G networks, and sales of 4G smartphones are in their infancy.

"The improved network speed, efficiency, and capacity provided by 4G, together with the increasing capabilities of converged mobile devices will lead to increased rich media content and applications," said Richard Absalum, Business Insights analyst, in a statement.

The growth of smartphones and other ultra-mobile devices will give users superior experiences, but copyright violations could dampen some of the enthusiasm.

In its report, Business Insights predicts gains for consumer devices aimed at exploiting the emerging 4G technologies. With 4G accelerating access via video streaming, gaming, music downloads, and peer-to-peer file sharing, users will have easier access to restricted material.

Datamonitor predicted smartphone sales will triple between 2009 and 2013, from 185 million units to 451 million units. Netbook shipments, the market research firm predicted, will quadruple in the same period. Tablets and e-readers will do even better, with e-readers expected to boom nearly tenfold in the 2009-2013 timeframe.

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