LOS ALTOS, CA – Third-quarter PC shipments were up 15.5% year-over-year, says research firm Henderson Ventures.

PC growth has rebounded with the help of low-cost shipments to the emerging economies, along with the slowly growing acceptance of Microsoft’s Vista operating system, and global PC shipments growth has been accelerating, reports Henderson.

For 2007, unit shipments are predicted to hit 264 million, a growth rate of 11.6%, says the firm.

The traditional two-year cycle is forecast to continue through 2009, but without a major dent in the expected growth rate for next year.

The introduction of WiMax is expected to have a positive impact on PC purchases in 2009; as WiMax becomes an accepted technology, laptop computer owners will increasingly want to acquire the capability via a new portable PC, much as PC owners traded up when WiFi became available, says Henderson.

Also, the impact of the Vista OS is likely to peak in 2009. However, global saturation, including many emerging markets, will tamp down the achievable growth rates for the foreseeable future. And even though a sizeable 10.2% increase is predicted for 2009, that pace is far below peak levels achieved in the past, including the 17.9% burst in 2005, reports the researcher.
 
 
 
EL SEGUNDO, CA – LCD is the dominant display technology for most electronic products; however, there is still a need for emerging display technologies, according to iSuppli Corp.
 
“Alternative technologies are still required because they can overcome some of the disadvantages of LCDs, and have some special capabilities that LCDs cannot match,” said Jennifer Colegrove, senior analyst for display technology and strategy for iSuppli. “These technologies include touchscreen, bi-stable, near-eye, Head-Up Display and miniature projection displays.”
 
Global shipment revenue for the leading touchscreen technologies will rise to $4.4 billion by 2012, up 45% from 2006, iSuppli predicts.
 
Shipments of bi-stable displays, i.e., electronic displays capable of presenting an image without using power, are expected to reach 350 million units by 2012, up from a mere 29 million units in 2007.
 
Near-eye display revenue is expected to grow to $724 million by 2012, rising 71% from 2007.
 
The global HUD module market is expected to reach $107 million in revenue by 2012, up nearly 76% from 2006.
 
Demand for touchscreen displays is being driven primarily by the cellphone and consumer-electronics industries—specifically portable game consoles, PDAs and PNDs, says iSuppli. However, as the market matures, the firm believes touchscreen displays will find a role in nearly every aspect of life, from planes, to automobiles, to machine-control systems, to home appliances.
 
After many years of uncertainty, a real market is beginning to take shape for bi-stable displays. Demand is rising for this technology as companies try to limit the power consumption of portable devices and always-on signage, according to the researcher.
 
Bi-stable displays’ capability to sustain images without electricity also makes them well suited for smart cards, removable flash storage devices and e-book/e-paper, says iSuppli. Other applications include electronic shelf labels, point of purchase/point of sale and cellphones.
 
Consumers love tiny handheld electronic devices, but don’t love diminutive displays. Because of this, makers of handhelds – including PMPs, DVD players and mobile TVs –hope to improve the viewing experience by offering products with pocket/embedded projectors and near-eye displays, also called head-mounted displays, says iSuppli.
As its name suggests, the near-eye display is designed to be placed on a helmet or visor close to the user’s eye, providing a virtual image that is larger than the physical dimensions of the display. HMDs can display a virtual image ranging in size from 20" to 100".
 
The pocket projector market is growing because of the demand for portable presentation equipment. Travelers prefer pocket projectors because they allow them to deliver presentations to small groups of people at any time, in any place, says iSuppli.
 
Commercially available pocket projectors mostly weigh between 1 and 2 lbs.; a pocket projector weighing less than 1 lb. is set to come to the market this quarter, according to the researcher.
 
Head-up displays enhance safety by keeping drivers’ eyes on the road. Currently, there are many vehicle manufacturers offering HUDs, including General Motors and BMW. The global HUD module market is expected to reach $107 million in revenue by 2012, up 76% from 2006.
 
There are big growth opportunities for miniature projectors. And with the rear-projection television market losing momentum, microdisplay manufacturers should view this market as an opportunity for growth, concludes iSuppli.

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