Main Chinese Players in the Flash LED Market

As flash LEDs became a standard spec in smartphones instead of a market gimmick to sell phones, many LED manufacturers are vying after this potential market.

The earliest players in the market was Lumileds, followed by Osram and later Everlight. Even Korean manufacturer Samsung has started making flash LEDs for its own smartphone consumption. Not leaving the market to solely Taiwanese and international players, Chinese manufacturers are also swarming the market.

Chinese manufacturer APT Electronics has been one of the first manufacturers to enter the flash LED market. It has started to supply flash LEDs in limited volumes in 2012, with current shipment volumes rated at 300,000 PCS per month. “Our clients are mainly Chinese smartphone manufacturers, such as ZTE and TCL,” said Weineng Ou, General Director of APT Electronics.

Another Chinese manufacturer Refond Opto has also entered the smartphone supply chain. “Our company branch in Shanghai has mostly been responsible for flash LED shipments, and we have been shipping in small volumes,” said Refond Opto’s Chief Technology Officer Pei Xiaoming.

Hongliopto and Jufei Opto both announced their LED flash lights are being authorized by clients, but admitted it was a fairly long process.

Shenzhen Runlite Technology is cooperating with certain clients on its flash LEDs, and are sending only small volume of samples to manufacturers, said the company’s vice president of sales Lei Yan.

Mason Technology announced in its investor relations statement in May that the company was selling flash LEDs in small volumes, and was mostly affected by smartphones high entry levels and market conditions. The company has started to expand its market.

Harvatek has formed partnerships with some Chinese LED manufacturers, and is sending samples of its 2016 LEDs in small volumes to smartphone manufacturers, said Weizheng Lin, deputy general of the company’s R&D department. Chinese LED manufacturer Unionwaltron Optoelectronics has signed a flash LED procurement agreement with Harvatek in July this year.

Few manufacturers enter smartphone supply chain

Although, there are many competitors in the flash LED market, only a few Chinese manufacturers are supplying flash LEDs. Industry insiders agree technology barriers, cost control, and patent barriers are not the most difficult issues. The greatest challenge for manufacturers is entering the smartphone supply chain in a relatively short time frame.

“A feature of flash LEDs is that it needs to be equipped on an end product, you can’t use it right away,” said Honglitronic General Manager Lei Lining. Reliability and stability requirements are very high for smartphone accessories. A small accessory and component cannot affect the entire smartphone design and functions. Additionally, different smartphone models have various flash LED design concepts and demands. It can be a very long process from design, production to being equipped on an end product.

“Chinese manufacturers have entered the market later and only for a short period, I think they are currently in a transitional phase,” said Ou. Smartphone manufacturers are more prudent when swapping smartphone components, due to higher reliability requirements. Testing cycles can also be fairly long, and the verification process usually takes up to one year. “Following the gradual maturation of China’s LED supply chain, Chinese LED manufacturers market share in the flash LED market is projected to grow in the future,” said Ou.

(Author: Sophie Liu, Editor, LEDinsidehttp:// Translator: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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