Study: More than one-third of U.S. Android phones run LTE, WiMAX or HSPA+

More than one-third of U.S. Android phones now support faster network technology, including LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+, according to a new study from mobile application analytics firm Localytics.

Click here for a list of the most popular U.S. 4G-branded Android devices.

The study reported that close to 37 percent of U.S. smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform now support varying flavors of network technologies that carriers have dubbed "4G." The number of U.S. Android devices supporting the faster networks has rapidly increased, the study said, mirroring the expansion of the networks themselves. The study said the percentage of Android phones on the faster networks has grown from 22.6 percent in the first quarter and from 31.2 percent in the second quarter. 

Driving the growth are devices such as the LTE-capable HTC ThunderBolt and Samsung Droid Charge from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), the WiMAX-capable HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G from Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which run on Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) network, and the Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Atrix 4G for AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and the HTC-made myTouch 4G for T-Mobile USA, which run on HSPA+ technology. 

"For app developers, this should be a very welcome piece of news: the wider the technology referred to as 4G spreads, the bigger the bandwidth app developers have to play with," Localytics said in a blog post. "Of course, each U.S. carrier has a different 4G service with a different level of bandwidth--Verizon uses LTE, AT&T and T-Mobile run HSPA+, and Sprint uses WiMAX--but each one represents a significant bump from the more widely-available 3G speeds."

T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 network is now in more than 150 markets covering 170 million POPs. Verizon's LTE network currently covers 143 markets and 160 million POPs and Verizon plans to increase that to 175 markets and 185 million POPs by year-end. Sprint continues to resell Clearwire's mobile WiMAX service under the Sprint 4G brand in 71 markets; Clearwire's network covers around 130 million POPs. AT&T's HSPA+ network is now available nationwide and the company has launched LTE service in five markets with 15 planned by year-end, covering 70 million POPs.

Meanwhile, Android continues to pick up steam in terms of U.S. customer adoption. More than half of all U.S. mobile subscribers who purchased a smartphone within the past three months picked an Android phone, according to new data released by The Nielsen Company. Android-powered devices accounted for 56 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales during the previous three months and now make up 43 percent of total nationwide smartphone market share, Nielsen said. Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS remains in second place with 28 percent U.S. market share--iOS devices also accounted for 28 percent of all smartphones purchased by American consumers during the past three months. (See related article)

For more:
- see this Localytics blog post

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