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Display vendors warned to trim hype and deliver goods

Posted: 23 May 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Philips? Display 2002? cell phone? TFT-LCD? PolyLED?

"It's time to stop the hype and deliver products that users want," Peter Hopper, CEO for Philips' Mobile Display Systems business group, told attendees of the Society for Information Display 2002 conference in a keynote Tuesday (May 21).

Hopper brought the display technologists down to earth by comparing the "roaring '90s" with 2002. "In the '90s there was 50 percent growth per annum in the cell telephone market, operator subsidies were everywhere, users had an enthusiasm for technology," said Hopper. "This year, the growth is not likely, the subsidies are almost gone and users' enthusiasm for technology is questionable."

Hopper shared the results of a Philips study that is being used to target various classes of users. High-end users will accept every new gadget thrown at them, either because they want it or believe they can't do without it, according to the study. But volume users comprise more than 70 percent of the cell phone market, and these users are the ones whose needs must be catered to, now more than ever, he said.

"We need to apply a much more holistic approach to understanding user needs. We can supply any display technology, but is there demand?" Hopper said technology companies have the responsibility to advise OEMs and through them users about the best technology that fits a specific user group.

Nevertheless, Philips Components showed off its latest technical prowess at its booth at SID, hoping to attract high-end users to its displays for next-generation mobile device applications. Among these were the recently introduced 3.5-inch QVGA TFT-LCD, only 3.5mm thick; a PolyLED module that includes the first polymer-based organic LED shipped in volume; and a TFT design technology with a parallel drive system which enables smaller borders around a display for a greater viewing angle.

One example of how a display can serve more than one purpose was the demo of a flat speaker display, which incorporates both sound (via a piezoelectric device) and images into a slim-profile display that can be used both as a speaker and a screen in a PDA application. Philips also demonstrated a 44-inch liquid crystal on silicon-based rear-projection TV receiver.

The company is covering all bets of the various display technologies at its disposal, seeking what Hopper calls "the ultimate display." Yet the realization that users have been overexposed to hyped technology made Hopper conclude that "over-promising 'the ultimate display' can raise unfulfilling expectations and in the end damage the market that's trying to being served."

"Nicolas Mokhoff

EE Times

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