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TrendForce: Sapphire substrate market to escalate

LED lighting and Smartphone application demands have led to sapphire substrate manufacturers production expansions
Spurred by LED lighting and mobile device market demands, sapphire substrate manufacturers have been actively expanding their production capacity, according to TrendForce subsidiary LEDinside’s “Global Sapphire Substrate Market 2013” research report.

The top five sapphire ingot manufacturers for instance, have seen 2-inch equivalent sapphire substrate monthly production capacity grow by 75 percent to 7800Kmm compared to 2012.

LED industry development has been driven by LED lighting market’s high demands, especially for LED bulbs, LED tubes and MR16. To meet the above demands, major LED chip manufacturers still have expansion plans for 2013-2014, including Korean manufacturer Seoul Viosys, Taiwanese manufacturer Epistar, and Chinese manufacturers San’an Opto and HC Semitek.

Major chip manufacturers are also continually raising 4-inch wafer production capacity, which has led to 40 percent production share in 2013, and is expected to reach 43 percent in 2014.

Handheld device applications have the strongest demands among non-LED application market demands. Since Apple introduced sapphire substrate material into the iPhone5 and iPhone 5S camera lens, and into the 5S home buttons with the entry of fingerprint identification feature.

LG is also following this latest technology trend and introduced sapphire camera lens in its newest smartphone LG G2. This will hopefully drive other smartphone manufacturers to use this material. LEDinside estimates the non-LED market application market share will reach 36 percent in 2014, with handheld device application demands even reaching 31 percent.

Sapphire Substrate Demand Market Share

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