According to a recent NPD In-Stat research, by 2015 there will be 160.3 million active small cells, and the retail value of small cell shipments will reach $14 billion. This is because mobile data usage nearly doubles each year, but mobile operators cannot increase expenditures at that rate. At the same time, data rates are affected by the proximity of a device to a cell. Small cells cover areas where macrocells would be overkill and are essential to the success of heterogeneous networking (HetNet).
In-Stat expects unit shipments for low-cost Android smartphones to reach almost 340 million worldwide in 2015. According to In-Stat, low-cost Android handset segment will cause some fragmentation in the Android platform. Low-cost Android smartphones will most likely be released with Android 2.2 or 2.3 because these versions offer a good blend of features with modest memory and processor usage. The Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) release requires more memory and processor demands, which makes the new version less attractive for low-cost Android devices.
3D is finally becoming a mainstream technology thanks to gaming and video content. According to In-Stat, 3D devices (handheld game consoles, smartphones, and tablets) will drive the demand for image sensors by over 130%. True 3D requires at least two image sensors, one for each imaging solution. That means four image sensors (two front facing and two rear facing) are required for a full 3D experience. Several mobile devices with four image sensors have already been introduced and many more are slated for introduction throughout 2011 and 2012.
In-Stat expects the 3D TV set market to grow dramatically this year. According to their prediction, the 3D TV sets will grow by almost 500%. According to In-Stat’s research, 3D-Enabled TV Sets on the Rise Worldwide, 100% of all 40-inch and above DTV sets will eventually be 3D-enabled.
In-Stat expects worldwide smartphone processor revenue will have a CAGR of almost 21% from 2009-2015. In the last ten years, smartphones and phones have created a multi-billion dollar business where one did not exist before. The next 10 years will not see changes quite as dramatic as those in the last ten years. However, the evolution of the handset will continue at a fast pace.
According to In-Stat, the Intel Atom Processor Z6xx Series still comes up short when compared with many of Intel’s mobile competitors. The Oak Trail processor features Intel’s SpeedStep, Deeper Sleep, and High Definition Audio technology. However, Oak Trail still requires an I/O chipset (SM35), does not offer alternative memory interfaces (such as package-on-package chip stacking) and is rated with a thermal design power of 3W, which is above the smartphone processors being used in other tablet designs.
According to In-Stat, DisplayPort and HDMI will be the only display interfaces left because VGA and LVDS will be phased out in the next two to four years. Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) will become the primary internal connection for mobile PCs. In-Stat expects eDP will have over 80% penetration into the mobile PC market by 2014.
HP launched their new TouchPad a couple of days ago. On the surface, the TouchPad is an iPad clone. The sleek TouchPad has a 9.7″ touch display and weighs 1.6 pounds. However, the HP tablet features a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1024×768 resolution, and webOS, which HP acquired when it purchased Palm last year. According to In-Stat, the key differentiators are not enough to compete with the Apple iPad and other tablets.
According to In-Stat’s Smartphones: A Worldwide View research, unit shipments of smartphones will grow to almost 850 million by 2015. Critical factors driving smartphone sales include a powerful browser, a wide variety of apps, an easy to navigate user interface, and a good keyboard or touch screen. The research is part of In-Stat’s Mobile Devices service, which provides analysis and forecasts of the market for mobile communications and computing devices, including cell phones, smartphones, MIDs, tablets, mini-notes/netbooks, and notebooks.
According to In-Stat, the top three uses for future tablet owners are email, personal information management, and multimedia consumption (audio, video and gaming). Last year’s small crop of tablets was being touted as potential e-readers (a way to compete against the Amazon Kindle lineup). But the next generation of tablets will be marketed as consumer multimedia consumption devices positioned to compete squarely against the Apple iPad.