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Colored displays drive handset, PDA market

Posted: 17 Oct 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless handsets? pda? display? in-stat? mdr?

In-Stat/MDR reported that the "no growth" status observed in the wireless handset and PDA market over the past 18 months is beginning to be replaced by real, measurable, manufacturing increases, as more consumers are driven to buy new handsets and PDAs. This demand is being driven not by Bluetooth, higher data rates, or location-based services, but by the availability of color on many displays, In-Stat added.

If power issues can be resolved either through improved batteries or fuel cells, and costs are reduced by at least 50 percent, In-Stat/MDR forecasts that virtually all handset and PDA displays will be in color by the year 2008. As a result the worldwide handset and PDA display market is expected to experience revenue CAGR of 33.6 percent between 2002 and 2006.

"Today, Asian manufacturers are using their color display expertise, and manufacturing capacity, to introduce devices at a dizzying pace," said Ray Jodoin, director of wireless research with In-Stat/MDR. "The only question is whether there is enough short-term capacity to fill the initial demand, which currently exceeds 1 million color displays per month in Japan alone."

However, In-Stat finds the following to be potential barriers to the success of this particular market: battery life, increased costs, and availability. The market research firm said that while color display drivers consume more power than their monochrome counterparts, the real culprit is the backlight, which must transmit useful levels of illumination through polarizers.

In terms of costs, monochrome displays, with assembled backlights can range from $7-$12, and their color counterparts are typically $56-72. Further, while the display industry currently has excess capacity overall, much of it is dedicated to larger displays for the PC industry. Retooling for smaller displays is said to take a finite amount of time.

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