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Global mobile phone display module shipments in 2015 are expected to rise just 4 percent year-over-year to reach two billion units, leading to even stronger competition among mobile phone display manufacturers. According to a new report from IHS, Chinese display module makers have resolved to increase their share of global mobile-phone display shipments. In fact in the third quarter (Q3) of 2014, BOE unseated Samsung Display to become the leading global mobile phone display module supplier.

“BOE has benefitted not only from Samsung’s LCD outsourcing strategy, but also by aggressively developing direct relationships with Chinese mobile phone makers,” said Terry Yu, senior analyst for small and medium displays and display technologies for IHS Technology, formerly DisplaySearch. “BOE, Tianma and InfoVision are all focusing their G5 capacity on the mobile phone market, placing strong emphasis on a-Si based mobile phone displays.”

Display module makers in China also intend to improve their market share in the high-end mobile phone display market. For example in 2014, BOE, Tianma and China Star attracted industry attention, when they announced their G6 LTPS investment plans. Truly, a local traditional Chinese LC module maker, also announced it was investing in G4 AMOLED manufacturing capabilities. “Until these capacities are ready in China, however, stronger competition in the high-end mobile phone display market will be primarily centered on panel makers in other parts of Asia, especially among Japan Display, Sharp, and Samsung Display, all of which have aggressive plans for the Chinese smartphone market in 2015,” Yu said.

Reacting to lowered demand for handsets, OLED module makers have been aggressively promoting AMOLED products in China, but they still face competitive pricing pressure. For example, the average price for 5-inch HD (1280 x 720 294 PPI) AMOLED modules in China’s open market, excluding cover glass and lamination cost, has fallen from $43 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2014 to $25 in the Q1 2015; however, 5-inch HD display modules are widely used in handsets with high cost-performance (CP) value ratios, with retail prices that vary from $95 (599 CNY) to $160 (999 CNY). With increased competition, low-end high-CP value handset prices are expected to fall as low as $80 (499 CNY) in 2015, so $25 AMOLED module costs will still face bill of materials (BOM) cost-control challenges.

On the other hand, in order to differentiate their products, local Chinese brands plan to adopt FHD (1920 x 1080, normally over 400 PPI) displays on the higher-end of high-CP value handsets, with average prices of $160. In fact, local smartphone brand Meizu has already launched its first sub-brand handset, Noblue Note, which is equipped with a 5.5-inch FHD display, selling for $160 (999 CNY). According to Yu, “the pricing pressure of these FHD displays will lead to the even more intense competition among FHD resolution display module makers in 2015.”

“Local Chinese brands are now simplifying their handset models, in order to achieve better revenue performance,” Yu said. “Larger orders for each handset model will drive stronger competition among leading global panel makers.”


The demand for LED chipsets, primarily for the LED lighting market, is forecast to increase substantially through 2018. According to DisplaySearch, now part of IHS (NYSE: IHS), measured in standard units (500 x 500 micron chip size), demand for LED chipsets are expected to increase 293 percent from 35.8 million in 2013 to 1.4 billion in 2018.

“This forecast growth in the LED market is due in large part to increasing demand from the LED lighting segment,” said Steven Sher, analyst for DisplaySearch. “As average selling prices continue to fall, shipments of all LED lighting products will remain on the rise.”

In 2014 the LED market became more integrated from chip to channel, as competing companies merged and supply-chain companies acquired LED industry players. “The LED chip industry is expected to fare better than the LED package industry, as demand for lighting continues to increase through 2018,” Sher said.

While previously strong, the chipset demand from LCD TV backlights has slowed, due to a combination of sluggish growth in LED-backlit LCD TV sales, as well as improved efficiency in the number of chips used per backlight. For those reasons, growth in the global demand for chipsets used for display backlighting flattened after 2012, with a slow decrease forecast after 2014.


The global market outlook for AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies is set for healthy expansion starting this year until at least 2018, with revenue during these four years projected to grow by $3.5 billion, according to a new report from IHS Technology.

Market revenue will expand to $25.1 billion in 2018, up from $21.6 billion in 2014, as presented in the attached figure.

The hefty four-year increase is an improvement compared to the previous three years from 2010 to 2013, when revenue grew by less than $1.0 billion. Growth this year is anticipated at 4.6 percent, with expansion to be as robust or even strengthen in 2015 and 2016.

“The markets for most applications that use a power supply are now growing again after a couple of gloomy years, with emerging applications such as power supplies for light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and media tablets leading the way,” said Jonathon Eykyn, power supply and storage component analyst for IHS. “Demand for power supplies for these two applications alone is projected to grow by more than $2.5 billion from 2014 to 2018, but other power supply markets—such as telecommunications, data communications and industrial—are also projected to provide growth opportunities to power supply vendors in the coming years.”

Aside from emerging applications driving growth, many projects that had been cancelled or postponed because of economic concerns in the past are now being restarted to coincide with new projects and technology rollouts, further stimulating the market. Also fueling significant expansion in the demand for power supplies is the continued growth of data centers to cope with the rise of cloud computing and the Internet of Things. Thanks to such drivers, revenue for power supplies to the server, storage and networking markets is projected to climb 24 percent from 2014 to 2018.

Growth is also solid in the markets for cellphone power supplies, with revenue forecast to ascend more than 8 percent in 2014. However, growth will slow after this year as more phones begin to ship without a bundled charger.

Meanwhile, the power supplies market for desktop PCs and notebooks is calculated to decline by around 2 percent every year from 2014 to 2018. This is because the traditional computing markets of desktop PCs and notebooks are set to deteriorate as consumers continue to favor more mobile solutions, such as media tablets and even cellphones.

All of these changes are influencing the state of the power supply market. In particular, market share rankings for 2013 were turbulent with six of the top 10 manufacturers changing positions and two new companies entering the elite tier. Overall, Delta Electronics retained its position as the world’s largest supplier of merchant power supplies, followed by Emerson and Lite-On.

The two suppliers that grew the most in market share in 2013 were Salcomp and Mean Well, whose combined revenue rose more than 30 percent and added 1.3 percent to their share of market compared to 2012.

“These suppliers are well-entrenched within the fast-growing cellphone and LED lighting markets,” Eykyn said. “It’s clear from these results that other manufacturers will have to continue to diversify their portfolios in order to remain competitive.”

These findings can be found in the forthcoming report, The World Market for AC-DC & DC-DC Merchant Power Supplies from the Power & Energy service of IHS. The full report from IHS includes analysis of the opportunities for commodity AC-DC, as well as non-commodity AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies across 22 applications, with forecasts through 2018. It also presents market-share estimates with 13 separate splits.