EL SEGUNDO, CA – Consumers are snapping up digital photo frames and tiny televisions, spurring a period of supply tightness and price increases for small/medium displays that is expected to linger through the first quarter, says iSuppli Corp.
Overall demand for small/medium displays – for example, screens with diagonal dimensions of less than 10" – exceeded supply by a scant 0.8% in the fourth quarter, down from 6.2% sequentially. Supply will exceed demand by only 1% in the first quarter, according to the research firm.
“With demand just barely higher than supply, availability of some screens has been constrained, which in the fourth quarter led to something that hasn’t been seen in the small/medium display market for a year: price increases for some products,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst, mobile displays, for iSuppli. “With the large volumes and intense competition in small/medium displays, prices typically decline on a quarterly basis. The price increases indicate that demand growth is extremely vigorous.”
The global average selling price of small/medium displays used for digital photo frames rose to $30 in the fourth quarter, up 20% sequentially, Jakhanwal noted. The ASP for small/medium displays for tiny LCD televisions rose to $8.40 in the fourth quarter, up 2.4% sequentially.
Although prices for digital photo frame displays will decline by 3.3% in the first quarter, prices will increase slightly in other areas, including portable media players, mobile handsets, automotive applications, camcorders, cameras and industrial/financial applications, iSuppli predicts.
This will cause the overall ASP of small/medium displays to rise to $6.80 in the first quarter, up 22% from the fourth quarter.
In general, prices for smaller-sized small/medium displays are remaining steady or decreasing slightly, while larger displays are experiencing price increases.
Pricing strength will contribute to a strong first quarter for small/medium displays, with global revenue reaching $6.4 billion, up 17.3% year-over-year. Revenue will decline by 6.5% sequentially, but a seasonal slowdown is typical, says iSuppli.
For 2008, small/medium display revenue is expected to rise to $27.6 billion, up 14.7% compared to 2007. This represents a significant acceleration compared to 8.8% growth in 2006.
On a percentage basis, digital photo frames will be the world's fastest-growing application for small/medium display in 2008, with global revenue rising to $699 million, up 91.4% from 2007. However, mobile handsets will continue to dominate the market, accounting for $15.9 billion in revenue in 2008, up 17.3% from 2007.
Although strong demand for small/medium panels is expected this year, there remains some risk of imbalances in the supply/demand equation, according to iSuppli.
Chinese white-box mobile handset demand is weakening. Furthermore, major panel overbooking could result in inflated demand expectations, leading to a correction in demand later this year.
The background to this is the precarious U.S. economy and stock market. The sub-prime crisis has weakened the U.S. economy and could dampen information technology and consumer spending.
Small/medium LCD panel makers are concerned and are contemplating reducing or slowing their capacity expansion efforts to control output during the second half of the year.
BANNOCKBURN, IL – In a nod to the IPC’s expansion into China, Bob Neves, chairman and CTO of Microtek Laboratories, has been named the latest inductee into IPC’s Hall of Fame.
Neves has represented the U.S. and IPC at IEC meetings for a decade, and has helped spur the IPC’s move into China.
Neves, who has been active with IPC since 1986, is a former chairman of key committees for printed boards and bare board specifications. He also chaired the California Circuits Association Council of the IPC.
Based on lifetime achievement, the award is the association’s highest level of recognition, honoring members who make extraordinary contributions to IPC and the electronic interconnect industry.
Neves involved Microtek in several IPC test programs and has played an active role in IPC long-range planning and roadmapping sessions.
STAMFORD, CT – Cellphone sales leapt above one billion last year, according research firm Gartner Inc.
Globally, more than 1.15 billion mobile phones were sold, up 16% over 2006, the firm said.
While developing nations helped improve sales dramatically, replacement phones with special features helped drive sales in the developed world.
"Emerging markets, especially China and India, provided much of the growth, as many people bought their first phone," said Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner. "In mature markets, such as Japan and Western Europe, consumers' appetite for feature-laden phones was met with new models packed with TV tuners, global positioning satellite functions, touch screens and high-resolution cameras."
Leading the market was Nokia, with 40% of the market share and sales of about 435 million phones in the fourth quarter.
Motorola, on the other hand, slipped in the market last year, landing in third place.
LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson gained market share.
Gartner expects handset sales to decline slightly this year, with sales growing only 10%. Most new growth will come from the developing market, while North America and Western Europe will slow. The two are expected to account for about 30% of global sales.
Gartner raises important questions for 2008: Will Nokia maintain its momentum? To do so, Gartner believes it will need to infiltrate North America, a location Nokia has not had much success in, says the firm.
What will happen to Motorola? The company doesn’t expect any big shifts in its cellphone business this year, and may be considering whether or not to sell its handset sector.
Gartner says significant new players in the handset market include China-based ZTE, Research In Motion and Apple.
SCHAUMBURG, IL – Papers are sought for the International Military & Aerospace/Avionics COTS Conference, Exhibition and Seminar, to be held Aug. 4-6 in Schaumburg, IL.
Papers are sought on commercial plastic-encapsulated components for use in high reliability applications. Specific topics may include reliability; testing; implementation; development; processing; specification generation; procurement (market, sourcing and supply problems); radiation hardness; Pb-free applications, and prognostics.
Abstracts are due April 18 and must include the title, author(s), affiliation and address.
After acceptance, material to be included on a conference proceedings CD is required by July 18.