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Cutting Up the LCD Pie: Calculating the Billion-Dollar Slices from Display Innovation

The liquid-crystal display (LCD) market is over $100 billion, so the emerging technologies that can compete with LCDs have the opportunity to become serious opportunities. Electrophoretics, through their use in e-readers, demonstrated the potential of a technology that can exploit the limitations of LCDs. Judging from our component materials and manufacutring cost analysis, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) will decrease from their current $3,000/m2 for small-area displays to be cost competitive with LCDs by 2016, leading to an overall OLED market of nearly $11 billion in 2017. Reflective displays will also undergo significant change over the next five years, as the market for e-readers declines and digitial signage becomes the dominant market of the overall $1.6 billion non-segmented reflective display market in 2017. While electrophoretics will continue to be the largest player in this area, alternative reflective displays like microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), electrowetting, and cholesteric LCDs will have an increasing share of this market.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Landscape
    • Displays Have Changed the Electronics Landscape Before - and Will Do So Again
      • Printed Flexible and Organic Displays Are Well-Suited for Portable Applications
    • Displays Fall into Two Major Categories - Emissive and Reflective
      • Emissive OLED Displays Face High Material and Manufacturing Hurdles
      • OLED Costs Are Falling, but Still High
      • Several Reflective Technologies Chase Electrophoretics for Non-Segmented Applications
    • Reflective and Emissive Displays Generally Chase Different Markets
      • OLEDs Chase LCDs in Small, Medium, and Large Displays
      • Reflective Displays Chase Different Markets from OLEDs
    • Landscape Conclusions
  • Analysis
    • Display Technologies Seek Application Fits for Their Unique Properties
    • OLEDs Will Approach $11 Billion in 2017 in the Most Likely Case, Mainly in Smartphones
      • Other Scenarios See OLEDs Reach as High as $35 Billion, or as Low as $8 Billion
    • Reflective Displays Will Shift from E-Readers to Signage
      • Reflective Technologies Have Different Fates
    • Flexible Displays Will Be Mostly Reflective
  • Outlook
  • About Lux Research
  • Endnotes
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