El Segundo, Calif. The increasing number of new portable applications such as
portable navigation devices (PNDs), digital photo frames and MP3/portable media players (PMPs) are boosting sales of small/medium liquid crystal displays (LCDs), according to iSuppli Corp. However, mobile handsets continue to be the dominant application.
According to a new iSuppli study, Active Matrix TFT-LCD Segment Gaining Momentum, new applications are expected to help drive global small/medium display (with a diagonal dimension of 9-inches or smaller) shipments to 4.5 billion units by 2011, up from 3.8 billion in 2007. Production capacity expansions along with price declines are also contributing to demand for these LCDs, said iSuppli.
The capability to show detailed, color images of maps in PNDs is one of the key growth drivers for Thin-Film-Transistor-LCDs (TFT-LCDs). This new demand has caused iSuppli to upgrade its PND display market forecast to reach 60.5 million units by 2011, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.3 percent from 10.8 million in 2006. This is up from iSuppli's previous forecast of 54 million units in 2011.
Despite falling prices for small/medium TFT-LCDs, revenue for displays shipped to PNDs will reach $776 million by 2011, rising at a CAGR of 19.1 percent, up from $324 million in 2006, said iSuppli. In 2007, PND display revenue will nearly double to $635 million, up from $324 million in 2006.
Sharp and Samsung now are the leading suppliers in the PND display market, selling to the PND leaders Garmin and TomTom, respectively, according to the market research firm.
Another fast-growing consumer of small/medium displays is MP3/PMPs. iSuppli forecasts MP3/PMP unit shipments will reach 205 million units by the end of 2011, up from 163 million units in 2007. This translates into display revenue of $1.6 billion by 2011, slightly down from revenue of $1.7 billion in 2007. This decrease in revenue is due to the declining prices for small/medium TFT-LCDs as capacities expand and manufacturing processes become more efficient, said iSuppli.
Many other applications like digital photo frames and portable DVD players are also consuming more displays every year. Since these applications demand larger sized displays (around 7 inches), increased demand can have a greater impact on capacity allocation and supply/demand balance of not only these displays but also notebook PC displays that also are being manufactured in fourth-generation fabs, reported iSuppli.