SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., October 14, 2002 - A quiet revolution is occurring
in the wireless handset and PDA arena, according to In-Stat/MDR
The high-tech market research firm reports that the "no growth"
status of the past 18 months is suddenly being replaced by real,
measurable, manufacturing increases, as consumers are driven into
stores 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. If power issues
can be resolved, either through improved batteries or fuel cells,
and costs are reduced by approximately 50%, In-Stat/MDR forecasts
that virtually all handset and PDA displays will be color
by 2008. As a result, between 2002 and 2006, the worldwide handset
and PDA display market will experience a revenue CAGR (Compound
Annual Growth Rate) of 33.6%.
"For many manufacturers, unfortunately, the road to prosperity
will have a few speed bumps," says Ray Jodoin, Director of
Wireless Research with In-Stat/MDR. "Today, Asian manufacturers
are using their color display expertise, and manufacturing capacity,
to introduce devices at a dizzying pace. 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."
In-Stat/MDR also finds the following potential barriers to success
in this market:
- Battery Life - While color display drivers do
consume more power than their monochrome counterparts, the real
culprit is the backlight, which must transmit useful levels of
illumination through polarizers.
- Increased Cost - Monochrome displays, with assembled
backlights, can range from US$7.00-$12.00, their color counterparts
are typically US$56-72. While a considerable percentage of this
differential results from the backlight, which can require high-voltage
vacuum fluorescent lighting, the displays themselves are much
more complex to manufacture. While Japanese and Korean subscribers
are lining up to replace their monochrome handsets, it remains
to be seen if the majority of the world's subscribers will follow
- Availability - 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 will take a finite
amount of time.