Digitimes Research forecasts that in 2015, the global high-brightness (HB) LED industry will have annual growth of 7.5% in terms of output, reaching US$13.7 billion. The total number of LEDs used will reach 186 billion units, representing annual growth of 32.6%, out of which lighting applications will have the highest annual growth rate in terms of usage, reaching 65%.
From the perspective of LED usage distribution, in 2015, lighting applications will account for up to 49.3% of LED usage, representing growth of 9.9 percentage points (pp) compared to 2014. Of the LEDs used in lighting applications 37.4% will be used for public LED tubes. Furthermore, the prices for LED light bulbs will drop, and these types of light sources will account for 32.5% of the LEDs used in lighting applications.
LED light source categories whose usage rates will decline due to drops in end-user device demand in 2015 include tablets, notebooks, and monitors. Due to the effects of large-screen mobile phones as well as consumers allocating budgets to buying smartwatches, it is forecast that in 2015, the amount of LEDs used for tablets will see an annual decline of 9.8%, making it the application category of backlit LED displays with the largest decline.
In response to increased demand for LEDs in 2015, upstream equipment vendors also have plans to expand production capacity, out of which China-based LED chip vendors are being the most aggressive. Based on LED epitaxy plant expansion plans for 2015, Digitimes Research calculates that global shipments of LED MOCVD equipment in 2015 will reach 252 units, growing by 10.5% compared to the 228 units shipped in 2014, with the highest demand coming from China-based vendors, accounting for 73.8% of global demand (higher than the 63% of 2014). The primary reason for this is because the China government is continuing to provide subsidiaries in 2015 and because many vendors are turning to the China's supply chain to purchase LED components for low-price lighting products.