The Future of Mobile Display

  • August 2011
  • -
  • ROA Holdings, Inc


Table of Contents

The Future of Mobile Display report by ROA Holdings examines the latest development of mobile display; as well as provides comprehensive insights on the future development direction, new technologies and their values. This report provides quantitative prediction and qualitative analysis on the possibilities and values of technologies, including AMOLED, EPD, Quantum Dot and MEMS in a way to verify their effectiveness.

The report includes 95 pages, 31 Figures and 6 Tables. 

Executive Summary

Smartphones have been shaking the global mobile market by innovating mobile handset usage patterns. Users are making full use of various mobile data services such as SNS, mobile web browsing, and applications particularly thanks to larger displays. As a result, data traffic is increasing exponentially.

In line with the changing mobile usage patterns, “Mobile Display” is emerging as one of the key hardware among mobile handset manufacturers. Apple and Samsung are at the frontline of the efforts to improve related technologies with considerable investments. The entire industry is paying a keen attention on which size and what technology will become the standard for the mobile market. In this report, ROA Holdings defines mobile display as a 10-inch or smaller display customized to the mobile environment.

In 2010, mobile display surpassed laptop display market with achieving a total shipment of 3 billion and sales of USD 24 billion. The market is expected to maintain an annual growth rate of 5% in the future. Moreover, the barrier between mobile handset displays and other IT devices is being lowered thanks to the popularity of tablet PCs.

Mobile display panels have been developed with technological characteristics different from IT devices and TVs. Also, its development speed has been faster than other applications. Over the past 10 years, this market went through drastic changes. In its infancy, Japanese companies dominated this segment with competitive technologies. Soon, Taiwanese companies, armed with cheap price and large supply, rushed into the market one after another. Now, mobile device companies like Apple are leading technology development with large investment.

Until 2008, mobile displays gained importance and role in the market, but their price went down as technological differentiation became trivial. Recently, however, it is being considered as a way for mobile device manufacturers to be differentiated from competitors.

As larger and better resolution display panels are becoming common, technologies for low power consumption and superior readability in sunlight are being developed. In line with that, new display solutions including 3D and flexible displays are being aggressively pursued.

Among others, AMOLED is expected to replace LCD as the mainstream display technology thanks to its superior performance and capacity of realizing flexible display. Also, EPD, Quantum Dot and MEMS are emerging, together with new applications to utilize them.

Each application is expected to develop following different market direction to be fitted to each market’s characteristics.

1. Mobile Handset
- Increases in full touch phones are leading to the decline of sub display market.
- More smartphones are being equipped with a 3.5-inch display or larger panel at 250ppi.
- Smartphone display panels can be provided only by companies with technological competitiveness. 

2. Digital Imaging
- Its standards improved from conventional DSC standards to mobile handset standards.
- DSC displays have become larger and better resolution screens compete withsmartphones.
- Prices of DPF and photo printer are falling faster compared to previous years.

3. Portable Media Player
- iPod is changing conventional PMP market into a high-end one.
- Prediction of PMP market is in line with that for iPod market.

4. Automotive
After Market -?> Before Market -> After Market
- In the original factory navigation market, conventional companies have been strengthening their influence.
- PND market is being saturated and its price is declining.

5. Amusement
- This is a closed market dominated by two manufacturers and two display suppliers.
- The market is active in adopting new technologies.

There is a growing demand for a new technology solution as LCD is approaching its limit rapidly. The efforts will be led by mobile device companies rather than display suppliers. The change in the business structure will enable the mobile device companies to adopt technologies they want more progressively to narrow the gap between display technologies and end consumers’ demand.

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