Falling LED revenue from handsets offset by camera flash

Cellular handset backlighting and keypad LED revenues will tumble by 41% by 2009, but this will be offset by 87% growth in the camera flash segment.

Although the largest applications for LEDs in mobile phone handsets - LCD and keypad backlighting – will decline rapidly in the next few years, this will be offset by growing demand for LEDs for the camera flash function.

Strategy Analytics' latest study on the LED market, "Camera Phones are Bright Spot in Handset Market for LEDs," warns that companies focused on supplying LEDs for LCD and keypad backlighting functions will see their revenues fall 41 percent by 2009.

The introduction of brighter LEDs and more efficient backlighting schemes will cause a net reduction in the average number of LEDs used in both the LCD and keypad backlighting segments of the market. Coupled with the decline in average selling prices experienced in these two segments, revenues from both markets will trend downwards.

This loss however, will be offset by strong revenue growth in the emerging camera flash segment. By 2009, revenues from the growing camera flash function will represent 36 percent of the total handset LED market demand for LED manufacturers.

"Growing penetration of cameras into mobile phone handsets is coupled with the appearance of higher resolution cameras and a consumer requirement that camera phones should be able to take good quality photographs," observed Stuart Robinson, Director of Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service.

"An essential part of this requirement is a high-quality flash function that can operate over distances of more than 1 meter. This will drive demand for camera handset high-power white LEDs."

"Market leaders will need to realign themselves now to meet ongoing changes in market requirements," noted Asif Anwar, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs service.

"The requirements of high illuminance, high efficacy and appropriate thermal management for LEDs used in camera flash functionality present considerable challenges, but the upside is a market which will grow at a CAAGR of 87 percent through to 2009."

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