Tougher Competition in Global LED Market, Korean and Taiwanese Companies Threaten Top LED Vendors

The top three global LED vendors, Nichia, Osram and Lumileds/Philips, are threatened by the fast growing Korean and Taiwanese companies, as competition in the global LED market becomes tougher, according to a market research firm.

In 2007, Japan's Nichia held onto its spot as the world's biggest supplier of LEDs with a 24 percent market share, according to data of the research house. Osram and Lumileds/Philips were the No. 2 and 3 LED suppliers with 10.5 percent and 6.5 percent market share, respectively.

An analyst of the research institute said the 2008 data were not yet available but noted that he believes the top three companies held onto their respective positions for the year.

The ranking may change in coming years, though, if Korea's Seoul Semiconductor continues its aggressive growth in the LED market, according to the analyst. For several years now, the company has grown aggressively and faster than the overall LED market and has risen steadily through the top 10 to reach the number 4 spot, he said.

Other companies in the Top 10 LED market ranking include Citizen and Toyoda Gosei, both based in Japan and Taiwan's Everlight and Kingbright.

"Other LED companies are more focused on profit margin and quality of products, or developing a portfolio with an eye on the long-term lighting market, rather than just the largest total revenues", said the research firm.

The research firm believes Cree is in this category, noting that the company is "considered to be one of the top 4 or 5 LED companies although in terms of packaged LED revenues this is not actually the case."

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