Johnson Matthey Advert

Temescal Advert

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

8 August 2012

Backlight LED prices fall 2-3% in Q3

Despite the rush orders during second-quarter 2012 that kept LED chip and package makers’ utilization rates high, the Q3/2012 outlook for the LED backlight market has turned murky due to the European debt crisis and weak demand in China, according to LEDinside (the LED research division of TrendForce). Due to the weakened market confidence and the conservative attitude of LED companies, no demand surge is in sight, it adds. Whether or not brand vendors will cut orders in Q3 depends on the sales of end-market products.

As for the TV backlight market in Q3, the prices of LED packages such as 7030 and 3528 saw a decline of 5-6% after they entered mass production and reached economies of scale. In contrast, the price of LEDs for other backlight applications saw limited price drops, averaging 2-3%.

Demand for smartphones and tablet PCs fell, notebook shipments flat

Affected by the lukewarm economic outlook, smartphone and tablet PC makers have revised their shipment forecasts. For smartphones, global shipments for 2012 are forecasted to be 660 million units, which is 55 million less than forecasted in early 2012. The forecast of orders for high-brightness (HB) side-view LEDs has also been lowered to 425 million units. Although the second-half 2012 LED backlight market remains uncertain, the price of LEDs for mobile phones applications still fell by 2-3% quarter-to-quarter due to demands from mobile phone makers for higher backlight brightness.

In addition, TrendForce estimates that global shipments of notebooks in 2012 will see no growth, which will affect LED backlight market growth in the notebook sector. On the other hand, demand for tablet PCs remains strong in 2012, with global shipments forecast to see year-on-year growth of 52%. However, as Apple has 60% of the tablet PC market, Apple’s LED backlight demand is supplied by two Japanese package makers. The price for 0.8t side-view LEDs fell by 3% in Q3/2012, while 3014 packages for notebook PCs are sold at cost, with the price dropping by 2% in Q3.

LED backlight penetration rate for TVs to reach 73% in 2012

The end of Q2 and the beginning of Q3 is usually the time for TV makers to start develop new models. Aside from Japanese TV vendors, Korean TV makers are still going through LED patent cases. Korean firms have hence adopted Taiwanese package makers’ LED product, TrendForce says. So, certain Taiwanese package makers may see booming growth in their orders by the end of 2012, it is reckoned.

Although direct-type LED TV sales in first-half 2012 fell short of expectations, 3528 prices fell by 6% in Q3 as sales rose, while 7030 prices dipped by 5%. Moreover, the LED usage of direct-type LED TVs will be reduced by 30% in 2013. For example, the current for 3528 LEDs will be increased to 400mA, and only 21 LEDs will be required instead of 32. Since Korean companies have stopped production of cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) TVs, TrendForce estimates that LED backlight penetration in the TV market will rise further to 73% in 2012.

New LED package to hit TV backlight market in 2013

According to TrendForce, given the uncertain outlook for second-half 2012, if the market remains stagnant and LED inventory for the backlight market remains high in Q3, then LED users may start to cut orders.

Hence, if LED companies can seek strategic alliances with other firms and continue to improve their products (i.e. increasing their brightness - even under lower-voltage operation – and reducing the number of LEDs needed), then it will be harder for them to be replaced in the LED industry, says TrendForce. Additionally, new LED packages for TV backlights will start to impact the market in 2013, the firm forecasts.

Tags: LED market


Visit us at Linked In

See Latest IssueRSS Feed


Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


This site uses some harmless cookies in order to function click here to view our Cookie and Privacy Policy