Friday, June 23, 2006
HB LED outlook
Fueled by growth in emerging applications such as illumination, automotive headlamps and backlighting for LCD monitors and screens, the high-brightness LED market is expected to double in size to more than $8 billion worldwide over the next five years, according to one of the leading forecasters of the LED marketplace. At the same time, the dramatic growth that has come in recent years from the use of high-brightness LEDs in cell phones is leveling off amidst saturation in mobile appliance applications.
These are the findings of Robert Steele of Strategies Unlimited, given in his keynote address at the annual Strategies in Light conference, held recently in San Francisco. Other highlights of his firm’s annual review and outlook of the high-brightness LED market included:
* Overall, it grew by only 8 percent to $4.0 billion in 2005. This shows a dramatic shift from the 37 percent growth in 2004, and the average growth from 2001 to 2004 was even higher at 46 percent. Even so, most of the LED applications showed significant growth since last year and mobile handsets grew faster than expected, resulting in a lower handset LED decline than was anticipated, said Steele.
* For HB LED suppliers the revenue growth was mixed, showing high and low numbers varying from company to company. The excess capacity for HB LEDs led to severe pricing pressure for low-end products like keypad backlights. Prices also declined for higher performance HB LED products, but not as severely.
* For the high-power packages, growth was up 78 percent to $230 million, while standard package market grew only 4 percent and the multichip and high-current grew 12 to 13 percent. The main applications in 2005 for high-power packages include illumination, traffic signals and the fastest growing – camera flash for mobile phones.