Seoul Semi challenging leading LED suppliers

May 13, 2009
A research report says that while Nichia, Osram and Lumileds remain the leading suppliers of packaged LEDs, they are being challenged by companies in Taiwan and Korea, notably Seoul Semiconductor.
According to a report from IMS Research, a market research company based in the UK, the top three companies in 2007 in terms of total dollar revenues for packaged LEDs were Nichia (24% of the market), Osram Opto (10.5%) and Philips Lumileds (6.5%).

These three companies have been well established as the top three for several years now. Although full data for 2008 was not available as the report went to press, it is believed that the top three rankings will be the same for 2008.

However, these companies now face strong challenges from companies in Taiwan and Korea. IMS Research analyst Jamie Fox stated that: “Lumileds may face competition for the third-place spot from Seoul Semiconductor in the next few years. For several years now, Seoul Semi has grown aggressively and faster than the overall LED market and has risen steadily through the top 10 to reach fourth spot.”

Other companies in the top ten in the report include Citizen and Toyoda Gosei from Japan, as well as Everlight and Kingbright, two Taiwanese companies that have also seen good growth. Avago Technologies is also in the top ten by total revenue.

IMS says that other LED companies are more focused on profit margin and quality of products, or developing a portfolio with an eye on the long-term lighting market, rather than just the largest total revenues.

For example, Cree is widely considered to be one of the top 4 or 5 LED companies, although in terms of packaged LED revenues this is not actually the case.

In response to their confirmation as the number one supplier, a spokesman from Nichia commented that staying number one is harder than becoming number one. However he said that while lower quality products give other competitors a chance, he is increasingly seeing a demand for quality products.