LED backlights could be in 25% of LCD TVs by 2012

A report by Displaybank says that the use of LED backlights in LCD TVs will start to grow rapidly from 2009 as TV makers introduce slimmer models.

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Unit demand for LED backlights
“Slim” LCD TV with LED Light Source Application Rise Radically to Reach 26 Million Shipments in Shipments of LCD TVs that use LED backlights are forecast to exceed 10 million units in 2010, according to Displaybank, a Korea-based market research company that specializes in the Display & Photovoltaic industries.

After a slow start, with only 2.4% penetration in 2009, or 3.3 million units, LED usage in LCD TV backlights will grow to 25.6 million units in 2011 and 52.3 million units in 2012, with the latter figure representing more than 25% market penetration (see graph).

The numbers largely exceed the initial industry expectation, says Allen Ji, senior researcher at Displaybank, who believes that the trend towards slim TVs will become “the biggest marketing point in the future LCD TV industry”. Ji says that most TV makers have launched, or are scheduled to launch, slim LCD TVs with LED BLUs.

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TV makers use LED backlights
Also, unlike the incumbent cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) technology, LED is environmental friendly because mercury is not utilized. “Such characteristics will further accelerate LED employment,” said Ji, adding that “LED makers that are searching for the new ‘killer application’ after mobile phones.”

As long ago as 2004, Sony employed RGB LEDs and launched an LCD TV with LED backlights for the first time in the industry. In 2007, Samsung Electronics launched products using white LEDs. These two companies have been leading the LED-backlit LCD TV market, and major TV makers including LG, Sharp, Hitachi and Philips have joined them this year (see diagram).

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