With increasing popularity of LED (light emitting diode) backlight notebook PCs to generate demand for 1.5-2 billion LED chips in 2009, Taiwanese LED makers, including Epistar Corp., Everlight Electronics Co. and Opto Tech Corp., are hopefully to benefit from the sales boom in the future, according to industry sources.
Institutional investors indicated that LED-backlit notebook PCs will very likely serve as growth engine for Taiwanese makers' LED chip shipment in 2009, as the penetration rate of the models in the notebook PC market is expected to sharply rise to 30-50% in the second half of the year.
Everlight has sent its LED backlights used in 15.6, 15.4 and 14-inch notebook PCs to clients for test and certification, and delivered some used in LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors on a trial basis. Therefore, the firm still relies on LED backlights for low-price PCs to sustain the business operation presently. But, as long as LED-backlit notebook PCs command a 30% share of the total global notebook PC sales in 2009, the firm's shipments of models for notebook PCs will gradually increase to contribute 5% to its sales in the year.
On the other hand, Epistar has succeeded in joining the global supply chain for LED-backlit notebook PCs by shipping LED backlights to Toyoda Gosei on an OEM (original equipment manufacturing) basis. Landing contract orders in the third quarter of 2008 and having its production lines certificated, the firm will surely see contribution of LED backlights more than double to 10-15% to its total sales revenues for the year. Epistar's LED backlights are mainly used in notebook PCs and high-end handsets, indicating that the firm has been recognized in the sector and will be more likely to reap profits than its Taiwanese counterparts.
Opto Tech is now engaged in cutting blue LED chips applied to handset backlights and Christmas decorative lights as a subcontractor of Japan's Nichia. But, with Opto Tech recently deciding to join Nichia's plan to raise funds and reinforce cooperation with the latter, the two parties will jointly engage in production of LED backlights for notebook and Netbook PCs in the future.
Compared with most Taiwanese LED makers who have been annoyed with LED backlight patent infringements, Opto Tech, because of cooperating with Nichia, could shrewdly keep the troubles at bay and fend off fierce competition against the Japanese maker. Furthermore, the firm will even excel its Taiwanese counterparts in prices in the market for LED backlights used in notebook PCs, thanks to assistance from Nichia.