“The introduction of MicroLED by Sony in 2016 caused a great stir of excitement in the industry, but it was thought to be a measure of what was possible, not what was viable in the near term,” commented Chris McIntyre-Brown, Associate Director at Futuresource Consulting. “However, this year has seen far more buzz around new chip-on-boards (COB) solutions, MiniLED and glue-on-board. All offer different benefits, but it is really the potential of MiniLED that has the industry excited. Troublingly though, are the lack of standards around MiniLED, MicroLED and indeed the LED industry as a whole. This is creating confusion - and that certainly needs to be addressed.”
In this report, Futuresource has ranked and categorised vendors into distinct groups based on their strengths including brand awareness, product portfolio and how they behave in this quickly evolving market. Futuresource states that most vendors enjoyed growth in 2017 but with varying degrees of success. There are a myriad of factors dictating the degree of success across the competitive landscape, but for those few that have been particularly impressive, the capacity and pressure to fulfil large production seems to underpin their momentum.
The LED market has also witnessed strong merger and acquisition activity in recent years, with display vendors looking to access new technologies, increase their geographical footprint or diversify their customer bases. Futuresource expects to see this activity continue in the coming years as the market matures.
“An area to watch will be the new entrants launching LED products, typically coming from other areas of the visual display market. Indeed, it is increasingly rare to find a professional display vendor without LED in its range - although there are still a number of heavyweights in adjacent display areas yet to enter,” adds McIntyre-Brown. Futuresource also expects service, support and localisation to become more important with established international display brands expected to grow in stature.
The LED industry is full of promise with Futuresource maintaining its aggressive growth forecasting out to 2022. It is now almost impossible to find a vertical market or end application where LED displays haven’t been optimised for both indoor and outdoor applications and this is for good reason. “The industry is poised to take the next step in technological advancement and with that we see the LED display community beginning to wonder just how much share it can take from the giant that is the LCD industry.”
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