New report looks out five years on OLED, other emerging technologies

July 13, 2009 by Dave Haynes

OLED and electronic ink are two of those technologies that we all sorta know we need to pay attantion, but we’re not sure when or how much we need to know.

If you have 3,500 or so Euros burning a hole in your pants you can school yourself up on eveything you need to know about emerging display technologies, using a new report just coming on the market.

I don’t have that kind of cash, and these guys never send me free copies, so we’ll have to settle for the executive summary, instead of 218 pages of acronyms. 

Environmental concerns are driving the need for greener and efficient display systems with better image quality and lower power consumption. The advances in nanotechnology and optoelectronics resulted in the introduction of next-generation display products. The next-generation display market comprises of those displays that consume lesser power than CRT, LCD, and plasma technologies. This market is segmented into flexible, transparent, three-dimensional, midair, double-sided, touchscreen, and 2D one-sided displays. The basic technologies in all these displays are LED, OLED, FED, electroluminescent and field emissive display, electrochromic, electrophoretic and electrowetting displays. 

In 2008, the market size of next-generation display components was $6 billion that is expected to grow exponentially by 2014 because of the increasing use of the next generation display components in consumer electronics. This revenue potential highlights the immense opportunity in the next-generation display market.

Fragmentation and intense competition in the electronics industry has induced electronics manufacturers to improve upon the quality and reduce the prices of their products. Therefore, the expensive ingredients and large R&D investments required for next-generation displays act as a major restraint for the growth of this market. However, the evolution of the next-generation display market into a mainstream market is expected to overcome all these restraints. 

Low labor cost and early initiatives have made Asia a dominant player in the next-generation display market, with a $3.7 billion or a 52% global market share in 2009. Asia’s large LED and OLED supplier-base also helps make the manufacture of these displays more cost-effective. Europe is expected to have the second-highest market for next-generation displays. The large consumer base of next-generation display devices in the U.S. and Europe makes them the most attractive markets for display components and device manufacturers.

In 2009, the market for 2D one-sided display is expected to dominate with a 72% market share, followed by the touchscreen display market with a share of 19%. The high market share of 2D one-sided display is mainly due to its low power consumption and its wide range of applications in industrial, advertising, entertainment, and consumer electronics sectors. The flexible display market is expected to grow at a high rate due to an increase in the demand for flexible, lightweight displays. 3D and midair display markets will have relatively smaller market shares but high growth rates due to the technical benefits they offer, such as uniform and stable 3D images. 

Asia has the highest number of patents with a 39% share, closely followed by the U.S. with 35%. The increase in demand for lighter, thinner, efficient and low power consuming displays resulted in an increase in the number of patents filed in 2008 for LED, OLED and electrochromic displays. 

The key players in this next-generation market include E-ink, RitDisplay, Samsung SDI, Sony, Toshiba, and Universal Display Corp. 

Our analysis indicates that companies delivering improved and better performing next-generation display components will have an edge over their competitors. Agreements and collaborations as well as new product launches are some of the most popular strategies adopted by market players to stay ahead of competition and to expand into new geographies.  

I think an awfully big part of the business is on the mobile smartphone side of things, a whole bunch of little OLEDs and very few big ones. OLED offers some interesting capability for DS apps — like really low power consumption and incredible color reproduction — but the costs are going to be very high for a few years still, and the underlying organic technology is not of the bulletproof sort that works well in public places. 

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