Electronics Production | May 24, 2007
Global display market to cross<br>$100 Billion threshold this year
Driven by soaring sales of TFT-LCDs, the global electronic display market is expected to exceed $100 billion in revenue this year, marking a major milestone for the industry, according to Paul Semenza, vice president, display research for iSuppli Corp.
How much is $100 billion? To put it into perspective, it's slightly more than the Gross Domestic Product of the nation of Slovakia in 2006, about equal to the expense of cleaning up after hurricane Katrina—and perhaps as much as it will cost to build the International Space Station, by some estimates. Speaking at the Society for Information Display (SID) 2007 International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition, Semenza said the growth in the display industry is being driven by the booming market for TFT-LCD screens. Semenza predicted the display market, consisting of flat-panel, projection and CRT products, will reach $104.3 billion in revenue in 2007, up 8 percent from $96.5 billion in 2006. “This growth is being driven by TFT-LCDs," Semenza said. “This is the dominant technology in the market and it's rising faster than the display industry as a whole. TFT-LCD represents three-quarters of the display market and is in every major application one can think of. Whatever applications it's not already in, it is positioning itself to enter." Global TFT-LCD revenue surpassed $70 billion in 2006, accounting for 73 percent of display industry revenue for the year, Semenza said. With TFT-LCD solidifying its hold on the display market, other technologies have been relegated to niches. “We think the opportunities reside around the edges of the market for other technologies," he said. “These technologies are finding places to compete around the behemoth that is TFT-LCD, but TFT-LCD is the market driver." Based on its strength in four major applications—televisions, notebook PCs, desktop monitors and mobile phones—TFT-LCD production will reach nearly 2.5 billion units in 2011, up from 1.2 billion in 2006. The television market is driving rapid growth in TFT-LCD area production; TFT-LCD TV area production in 2007 will exceed the level of all TFT-LCD production in 2005, Semenza noted. LCDs will account for 65 percent of all TV displays in 2011, up from 11 percent in 2005. However, there are some clouds on the horizon for the LCD-TV market. “LCD-TV has had such a rapid growth rate in the TV market and penetrated so successfully, that it will be harder to generate revenue growth going forward," Semenza said. “Furthermore, a major question is: What the maximum size of TV that a significant segment of consumers will want? The LCD-TV market has grown by migrating users to larger screen sizes. This has been very successful, but this strategy could generate challenges going forward." The biggest opportunity for TFT-LCD revenue growth outside of the television market is in professional displays, including signage and conference room projectors. LCDs are taking share away from plasma in indoor-venue signs and retail signage. Semenza predicted professional display revenue will reach $14.6 billion in 2011, up from $10 billion in 2007.