Analysis of application prospects of sapphire in LED and consumer electronics industries

Abstract Sapphire is a kind of single crystal of alumina. It has unique lattice structure, wear resistance and wind erosion resistance. Its hardness is second only to diamond. It has good light transmittance, special conductivity and electrical insulation. It is ideal for LED and SOS. Substrate material. Early due to its high hardness, wear resistance, gloss...
Sapphire is a kind of single crystal of alumina. It has unique lattice structure, wear resistance and wind erosion resistance. Its hardness is second only to diamond. It has good light transmittance, special conductivity and electrical insulation. It is an ideal lining for LED and SOS. Bottom material. In the early days, sapphire was first used as a jewellery and watch on the surface due to its high hardness, wear resistance, gloss translucency, and high processing level and scarcity caused by insufficient production. Since the 1990s, LED lighting has gradually penetrated into human life, and sapphire has been widely used in LED substrate materials. After more than 10 years of development, Apple uses sapphire as the protective glass for the iPhone5 camera and the Home5 protection glass for the iPhone5s. Sapphire officially entered the consumer electronics market, and consumer electronics opened up new market space for the sapphire industry.

First, the sapphire industry structure analysis
Sapphire has the advantages of wear resistance, scratch resistance, good light transmission and high hardness. It has a wide range of applications in aviation, defense, LED, medical, consumer electronics and other fields. The LED substrate is the most important application downstream of sapphire, with a market share of over 50%. Consumer electronics, on the other hand, bring a wider incremental space to sapphire materials.
According to the "2016-2021 China Sapphire Industry Development Prospects and Investment Strategy Planning Analysis Report" released by the Prospective Industry Research Institute, LEDs consumed 77.23% of the world's sapphire production capacity in 2015, followed by mobile phone glass, camera lenses and watches.
Figure 1: Structural characteristics of global sapphire products in 2015 (unit: %)
Second, the application status of sapphire in the field of consumer electronics    The cost of sapphire in consumer electronics mainly includes the protective cover of the smartphone camera, the fingerprint recognition HOME key cover, the smart watch screen cover and the smartphone screen cover that may be promoted in the future. It is estimated that driven by the demand for Apple products, the proportion of mobile phone sapphire in the sapphire market has increased rapidly from 1% in 2012 to 3% in 2015; the home button with sapphire is from scratch, accounting for 2015 The proportion of the entire sapphire market has reached 9%. As the leader of the smart terminal trend, Apple's enthusiasm for sapphire will drive the application of sapphire to other consumer electronics brands, and consumer electronics will take the LED, becoming the main driving force for the growth of the sapphire industry in the future.
In the consumer electronics market, smartphones continue to dominate. According to IDC, in 2016, global smartphone shipments will reach 1.435 billion units per month, and by 2019, shipments will reach 1.86 billion units. In 2015, the number of smart watches shipped in global wearable devices was 37 million. In 2016, wearable devices began to enter the market. Smart watches are expected to increase shipments by 121.6% to 82 million.
According to different types of demand in consumer electronics demand, as well as shipments of smartphones and smart watches, global sapphire material consumer electronics market revenue will increase from 7.05 billion yuan in 2015 to 34.15 billion yuan in 2020, an average of The compound growth rate reached 37.1%.
Chart 2: Global scale and forecast of sapphire market for consumer electronics in 2015-2020 (unit: billion US dollars)
Third, the industry development prospects Now more than 70% of the sapphire on the market is used for LED substrates. In 2015, the scale of China's LED sapphire market was 1.52 billion yuan. According to this, the market size of China's sapphire industry in 2015 is estimated to be 2.17 billion yuan.
Considering the application of a sapphire-protected screen for mobile phones, if Apple can import the sapphire protection screen into the iPhone 8 in 2017, the demand for sapphire optical applications will take off quickly. There is not only an opportunity to change the excess capacity in the market, but even the short supply in 2017-2018. Forward-looking analysis believes that in the future, when Apple does not introduce the sapphire protection screen into the iPhone 8, the Chinese sapphire industry will maintain a growth rate of around 30%. By 2021, the industry market will be about 10.5 billion yuan; if Apple can work in 2017 When the sapphire screen is introduced into the iPhone 8 in the year, the entire sapphire industry will achieve a growth rate of around 60%. By 2021, the industry market will reach 12.9 billion yuan.
Chart 3: 2016-2021 China sapphire industry development prospects (unit: 100 million yuan)

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