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10 May 2007


Camera flash to counteract decline in LED revenue from cell-phone handset applications

The market for LEDs in camera flashes will grow at a compound average annual growth rate (CAAGR) of 23% through 2011, even though overall LED revenues from cellular handsets will decline, forecasts Strategy Analytics in its report ‘LED Demand from Cellular Handsets: 2006-2011’.

Continuing pressure on average selling process (ASPs) will mean that overall LED revenues for backlighting applications will drop from $1.3bn in 2006 to just over $984m in 2011, producing 63% of total LED revenue.

“By 2011, 82% of all handsets shipped will include a camera,” notes Asif Anwar, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs service. “This will drive LED demand for the camera flash function, which will be the only growth market for LED manufacturers [ through 2011] - especially as the standard resolution for camera phones will feature 2 megapixel and above. 2 megapixel and higher resolutions will feature in 68% of all camera phones shipped in 2011, driving LED flash demand,” adds Stuart Robinson, director of Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service.

However, as camera phone resolutions increase, LED-based flash will face growing competition from Xenon-based flash technology, which Strategy Analyitics estimates had 4% penetration of the market in 2006 in camera phones with greater than 2Mpx resolution .

Strategy Analytics also predicts that there will be an increasing number of LEDs going into handsets for other applications, including indicators for Bluetooth functionality, call alert and personalization. However, the commodity pricing will offset volume demand. Overall LED revenues from the cellular handset market will decline at a negative CAAGR of -1% through 2011.