4G iPhone 5 to Boost LTE Smartphone Shipments to 5% this Year

Smartphones with support for 4G long time evolution (LTE) networks are expected to pour onto the scene this year, and will probably reach a 5% share of the global smartphone market, according to a new report.

The next generation iPhone will have a big role in pushing LTE towards the mainstream if, as suggested by analysts at Morgan Stanley, Apple's handset supports this latest standard in mobile network technology.

The well-informed Taiwanese website DigiTimes (via AppleInsider), cites anonymous sources from the Asian supply chain, who say that 25 to 30 million smartphones shipped this year will come with support for LTE technology.

Most of them are expected to hit the shelves in the second half of the year, and among them, Apple's new flagship iPhone will certainly make the biggest splash. Other high-end smartphones are also expected to push the LTE technology to become more widespread.

"While Android [is] still dominating the LTE smartphone segment, Nokia and HTC have launched LTE Windows Phone models, and Apple and RIM are expected to release comparable models running on their own platforms in the second half of 2012," the DigiTimes sources propose.