LEDs Gaining Market Share, Even in 32in Segment

The narrowing price gap between LEDs and CCFLs is driving the former to become the mainstream backlight technology in China.

With costs falling three to four times faster than those for CCFLs, LEDs are set to dominate LCD backlight technology in China. Presently, most small and midsize LCD modules for mobile and portable devices incorporate screens with LEDs as their light source. DisplaySearch even projects LED-backlit units will outstrip CCFL/EEFL backlights for large-area TFT-LCD panels by 2011 and bring about 74 percent market penetration by 2013.

The narrowing price difference between LEDs and CCFLs is helping the former gain visibility, particularly in the 14 to 24in segment. Such models are currently 3 to 15 percent more expensive than their CCFL counterparts, with the discrepancy ranging between $3 and $15. Because the price gap is small, Hong Kong THTF Co. Ltd overseas business department general manager David Xiao said it is easier for end-users to focus more on the additional features than on the extra cost. These include an ultraslim appearance, low energy consumption, mercury-free components, greater dynamic contrast, and a wider and deeper color range.

Positive response to products with 14 to 24in LED-backlit screens has encouraged more manufacturers to engage in the line, which is then driving costs further down. Midsize monitor price and TVs presently account for half of China's exports of LED devices.

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