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Emerging display market expected to triple

OLEDs will lead the way - Quantum dot LCDs will grow fastest


Driven by organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), the market for the top emerging display technologies will nearly triple to $21-billion by 2020, as ubiquitous liquid crystal displays (LCDs) lose market share, according to Boston-based Lux Research.

OLEDs, which enjoy a distinct advantage in mobile devices on account of performance in small form factors, will create a $15-billion market, up from $6.2-million in 2015, according to Lux. Smartphones alone will account for $13-billion. The OLED market could grow as high as $26-billion if Apple were to switch to OLED for its iPhones and iPads and OLED manufacturers could further bring down costs to enable wider adoption.

“The display industry will become fragmented as emerging displays take advantage of LCDs’ limitations,” says Tony Sun, Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report titled, The Multi-Billion-Dollar Emerging Display Opportunities. “Suppliers to the industry will need to diversify their product portfolio to fit individual technologies’ needs,” he adds.

Lux Research analysts evaluated the emerging display technologies that will most impact traditional LCD market share, and quantified individual markets.

Among their findings:

* Quantum dot (QD) is fastest-growing segment. Driven by adoption in televisions, QD LCDs will be the fastest-growing display technology, growing over ten-fold to $5.3-billion in 2020. In a more favorable environment, the market could grow to as much as $11 billion.

* Flexible OLEDs will be worth $2.2-billion. Flexible OLEDs, used primarily in smartphones and smartwatches (but also in televisions, tablets and virtual reality headgear) will grow eight-fold to a $2.2-billion market in 2020. However, 92% of this market will come from OLEDs on flexible substrates incorporated into rigid devices. Truly foldable and rollable OLEDs will hit the market in 2018 and grow to $170-million in 2020.

* E-reader decline will hit reflective displays. E-readers will drop by 40% from 2015 to 2020, crippling electrophoretic displays (EPDs) and other reflective displays commonly used in these devices. Nonetheless, reflective displays will be able to stand pat at a $590-million market in 2020, just above the current $560-million, due to growth from emerging applications like signage, electronic shelf labels and wearables.