Handsets and PDA Owners Done with Monochrome

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 suit.
- 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.

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