The IT industry is expected to take the initiative in the growth of the Korean economy in 2010. According to outlooks by industry pundits, semiconductor makers will enjoy the biggest-ever boom while the display industry will also enjoy a sharp rise in sales. Positive factors for the semiconductor market include new PC purchases by corporate customers, effects from the launch of a new PC operation system; Windows 7, and the expansion of the smartphone market. However, it is also forecast that supply may not meet demand.
Due to the global financial crisis, some companies went under while others suffer a significant drop in sales. However, Korean chipmakers have secured price competitiveness thanks to aggressive investment and are now moving ahead of competitors by 1.5 generations in terms of manufacturing capabilities. Accordingly, it is projected that Korean semiconductor companies will enjoy much bigger market shares in the chip market as winners in the market competition as they recorded biggest market shares of the memory chip market in 2009.
An economic recovery will give a boost to sales of displays as well. However, despite an increase in production capacity, this increase will be limited. According to industry experts, global demand for displays will increase more than 17% in terms of size as a result of advanced economies purchasing more LED-TVs and consumers in emerging markets buying more LCD-TVs. Furthermore, an increasing number of consumers will purchase notebooks, while more cell phones will be released featuring AMOLED displays.
Some experts are worried that a glut may occur due to an improvement in profitability of Taiwanese companies and the operation of new production facilities. However, they said that the Korean display industry has a bright future in consideration of restructuring after M&As among overseas companies and Korean companies’ taking the lead in the international display industry.
Korean display makers are expected to continue to expand their market shares in 2010 thanks to improved competitiveness. Many industrial analysts have pointed out that Korean display companies will increase sales significantly as they expanded their market shares during the economic slump and the IT market will grow in 2010.
On the other hand, smartphones will be the hottest ticket in the wireless handset market, with a market share predicted to reach around 22%. The so-called “PC in hands” can operate various programs. Therefore, handset makers are rushing into the smartphone market to develop new profit sources, as are PC manufacturers. Experts predict that in 2010, the global cell phone market will grow about 8% from 2009. A sales slump in the cell phone market was caused by the global economic downturn and demand for cell phones is expected to rise following economic recovery in 2010, they explained.
With an enhancement in hardware specifications, Korean companies are taking the lead in the touch screen phone market. In 2009, 114 million touch screen phones were shipped in the global market, with the figure expected to rise to 195 million units in 2010. Touch screen phones have positioned themselves as one of mainstream products with launches of new touch screen models by Samsung, LG and Pantech. Accordingly, Korean handset makers are expected to continue to increase their market shares internationally in 2010.