This is due to continuously growing emerging markets and to the smart phone trend, which is pushing demand for higher specifications including display size, resolution and technology.
“With mobile phone market growth occurring as a result of continuously growing emerging markets and the transition to smart phones, demand has increased for higher specifications, including display size, resolution, and technology,” noted Calvin Hsieh, Senior Analyst for DisplaySearch. “As a result, DisplaySearch forecasts continued growth for this segment into 2011-reaching 1.8 billion units.”
The fastest-growing display technology is AMOLED, which is forecast to reach 128 million units (191% Y/Y) in 2011 and 212 million (66% Y/Y) in 2012. AMOLED revenues for mobile phone displays will reach $4.0 billion in 2011 and $6.4 billion in 2012.
LTPS TFT LCD Shifting to Bigger Sizes for Smart Phones
a-Si TFT LCD continued to lead with 61.5% of mobile phone displays in 2010. However, LTPS TFT LCD is very competitive in smart phones, which requires higher resolution and pixels per inch LTPS TFT LCD display shipments for mobile phones reached 316 million in 2010, accounting for 19.5% of display shipments. Despite this, compared to shipment results for 2008 (320 million) and 2009 (298 million), LTPS TFT LCD has not grown as fast as a-Si TFT LCD because of limited available capacity. However, LTPS TFT LCD is shifting to bigger sizes for smart phones. To meet the growing demand for LTPS, capacity expansions are expected.
WVGA and hVGA Resolutions Show Strongest Growth
To compete with the iPhone 4, mobile phone manufacturers also upgraded resolutions of high-end models. Previously, the most popular resolution for LTPS TFT LCD was qVGA (240 x 320) at 42.5% share, but it quickly dropped to 17.5% in Q4’10. WVGA has been the most important resolution for mainstream smart phones since Q2’10. For WVGA formats, (including LCD and AMOLED), 480 × 800 shipments reached 29 million in Q4’10, up 26.1% Q/Q; and 480 × 864 reached 11.8 million, up 10.9% Q/Q.
Leading resolutions for LTPS TFT LCD in 2010 included WVGA (480 × 800 at 8.6% share and 480 × 864 at 12%), nHD (640 x 360, 15.5%), used by Nokia’s touch-based smart phones, and DVGA (640 x 960, 11.6%), the iPhone’s format. As a result of the iPhone’s popularity, DVGA shipments accounted for an 18.5% share of LTPS LCD shipments in Q4’10, up from 1.2% in Q1’10, and was the top smart phone resolution with 15.1 million shipments in Q4’10, up 13.4 Q/Q. hVGA (320 x 480) shipments fell 36% Q/Q in Q3’10, but surged in Q4’10 to 11 million, up 105.7% Q/Q. These trends signal a transition for smart phone displays, as WVGA took over the mainstream high-end lines and hVGA fell back to cost-effective models in order to maintain shipments in 2010. [April 21, 2011]
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