US Smartphone Saturation plus LTE Spells End of Data ARPU Growth

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CCS Insight predicts that 85 percent of contract mobile subscribers in the US will have smartphones by the second half of 2014. We believe this level of penetration will mark the end of growth in smartphone sales in the US, as a certain proportion of subscribers will only ever demand basic mobile telephony services.

Smartphone data traffic is a major component of data revenue and the main driver of growth in operators' established measure of average revenue per user (ARPU) for data. Once the smartphone penetration threshold is reached, related growth in data ARPU will approach its natural limits.