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  • Published In : Jun 2024
  • Code : CMI7086
  • Pages :125
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Consumer Goods

Market Size and Trends

The optical films market is estimated to be valued at USD 29.65 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 52.48 Bn by 2031, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Optical Films Market Key Factors

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The optical films market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. Increasing demand for optical films from various end-use industries like consumer electronics, solar industry, and automotive industry is driving the market growth. Growing demand for smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronic devices along with the need for lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles has boosted the adoption of optical films. In the solar industry, the use of optical films in photovoltaic products is increasing owing to the need for harnessing renewable energy. Rapid industrialization and growing electronics consumption in emerging economies will further provide opportunities for optical film manufacturers over the next few years.

Rising Demand from Smartphones and Tablets

The demand for optical films is experiencing significant growth due to the increasing usage of smartphones and tablets across the world. As the screens of these devices become larger with higher resolution, it requires sophisticated optical films like polarizing films and compensation films to deliver crisp images without distortions. Manufacturers are constantly focusing on enhancing the viewing experience by reducing reflections and improving color reproduction and contrast on electronic displays. This has significantly boosted the consumption of optical films in these devices. It is estimated that a high-end smartphone today uses around four to five films in its construction. With shipments of smartphones and tablets projected to rise considerably in the coming years driven by the emerging markets and product replacement cycles, it will translate into a growing need for optical films among OEMs. Many new players are also entering the tablet and phablet categories which offer bigger screens, thus supporting the optical film demand.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Optical Films Market Concentration By Players

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Rising Uptake in Other Applications

Interestingly, optical films are finding wider applications beyond smartphones and seeing increased usage in various other sectors as well. The demand is increasing from TVs as manufacturers integrate larger screens and curved designs. The TV market is characterized by continuous innovations and replacements which augur well for optical film consumption. Similarly, the evolution of virtual and augmented reality headsets relies on optical films for blocking outside light and ensuring clarity of images. With VR/AR expected to transform multiple industries and gain mass adoption in the next 5 years, it will open new avenues for optical film vendors. Automotive is another sector gaining attention with the integration of arger displays as part of the connected car initiative. Head-up displays, rear-seat entertainment systems and instrument cluster screens employ polarizing films for readability. Even architectural and construction industries utilize light management films for energy efficiency. Overall, the multifaceted demand drivers indicate strong prospects for the optical films industry over the coming years.

Key Takeaways from Analyst:

The optical films market continues to be driven by increasing demand for electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops that utilize optical films for camera protection, touchscreen functionality, and display enhancement. The miniaturization of electronics is also boosting the need for thinner optical films that can be integrated into slimmer device designs. Low manufacturing costs in Asia Pacific coupled with growing domestic markets in China and India will allow the region to maintain its dominance in the global optical films landscape. Meanwhile, developments in advanced technologies such as virtual and augmented reality are expected to open up new growth avenues for optical film suppliers.

Fluctuations in key raw material prices may pose challenges. Polyester and polyethylene terephthalate are major raw materials used in optical films and any increase in costs will negatively impact manufacturer margins. Intense competition among optical film producers may also lead to a squeeze on pricing. Alternative display technologies utilizing quantum dots and micro-LEDs instead of LCD and OLED panels could potentially bypass the need for optical films over the long run.

Increasing demand for large-area touch panels from application in TVs, car dashboards, retail signage and industrial controls is opening up a vast market for touchscreen optical films. Growth in wearables and head-mounted displays to support AR/VR provides another promising outlet.

Market Challenges: Fluctuations in raw material prices

The continuously fluctuating prices of raw materials used for manufacturing optical films is proving to be a major restraint for the growth of the global optical films market. Optical films are manufactured using various petrochemical-based raw materials including polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride, polymethyl methacrylate and others. However, the prices of crude oil and natural gas, which are key feedstocks for producing these raw materials, have seen massive volatility in recent years.

Market Opportunities: Emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and Latin America

Emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and Latin America show tremendous potential for growth in the global optical films market. These regions are experiencing significant economic development which is increasing consumer spending power. As incomes rise, more people will be able to afford electronic devices that use optical films like smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs and home appliances. The growing middle-class populations in countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico indicate a huge latent demand for both consumer and commercial end-use products equipped with optical films.

Optical Films Market By Type

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Insights by Type:  Increasing demand for display technologies

In terms of type, polarizing film is expected to contribute 48.8% share of the market in 2024. The optical films market is segmented based on type into polarizing film, backlight film, and others. Among these, polarizing film holds the largest share and this growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for display technologies across various end-use industries.

Polarizing films are an integral part of Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) that are widely used in screens of numerous consumer electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, televisions, etc. Advanced LCD and LED display screens highly rely on polarizing films for their functionality and performance. The massive popularity and rising sales of consumer electronics have significantly boosted the consumption of polarizing films over years. Today's consumers expect their devices to have clear, high-resolution displays and polarizing films ensure the desired display quality is delivered.

Another key factor stimulating the polarizing film demand is the emergence of new display technologies like OLED and flexible displays. Cutting-edge innovations in display industry aim at developing lightweight, slim and more immersive viewing experiences for users. Polarizing films tailored for advanced displays enable device manufacturers to integrate sophisticated functionalities while maintaining thin form factors. Their light controlling properties support the deployment of next-gen virtual, augmented and touch displays as well.

Insights by Application: Proliferation of mobile internet

The smartphones segment is expected to contribute 40.5% share of the market in 2024. The optical films market is segmented based on application into smartphones, automotive displays, televisions, desktops & laptops, tablets, and signage & advertising display boards. Among these, smartphones emerge as the largest application segment due to increasing mobile internet penetration. Smartphone shipments worldwide have grown exponentially in last decade on the back of affordable handsets and low-cost mobile data plans. Today smartphones have become an integral part of people's lives facilitating functions beyond basic communication. Optical films designed specifically for smartphones enable manufacturers to offer immersive viewing ambience required for multimedia, gaming and AR/VR experiences on mobile devices. The proliferation of advanced mobile applications and services has established mobile internet as the prime medium of content consumption worldwide. Online video streaming, social media, and e-commerce have seen tremendous growth which depends upon high-resolution mobile displays. Optical films optimize smartphone screen performance for extended internet and media usage.

Additionally, technological innovations such as edge-to-edge screens, foldable designs, and in-display fingerprint sensors have added to visual display complexities in smartphones. Meeting challenging optical requirements of evolving smartphone form factors demands high-quality optical films. The trend of upgrading smartphones every 1-2 years also supports the optical film demand from this segment. Bundled along replacement phones, optical films aid original equipment manufacturers in driving new sales.

Regional Insights

Optical Films Market Regional Insights

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North America has established itself as the dominant region in the global optical films market over the past few decades. The region is expected to account for 34.4% of the market share in 2024. With the strong presence of the electronics and semiconductors industry, North America accounts for the largest demand for optical films that are used in various devices such as smartphones, tablets, TVs, laptops, wearables, and others. The region is an early adopter of new technologies and sees higher replacement sales. Consumer preference for slim and lightweight electronic devices also drives the need for optical films that help in size and weight reduction of devices. Further, optical films suppliers have concentrated their production facilities in North America to cater to the robust local demand and benefit from economies of scale. This ensures timely supplies and competitive pricing for the buyers in the region.

The Asia Pacific region has emerged as the fastest growing market for optical films globally. With leading manufacturing hubs of electronics giants located across countries like China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, the demand for optical films is surging rapidly to meet the burgeoning production requirements. In addition, the rising affordability has boosted electronics adoption among consumers in developing nations. This expanding consumer base is prognosticated to significantly leverage future growth. Export is another key aspect where Asian countries like China and South Korea are the largest exporters of finished electronics as well as components to markets across the world, thereby propelling optical films requirement. Additionally, a strong presence of domestic as well as international optical films manufacturers provides reliable supply and price competitiveness to the buyers.

Market Report Scope

Optical Films Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 29.65 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 8.5% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 52.48 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Type: Polarizing Film , Backlight Film , and Others
  • By Application : Smartphones , Automotive Display , Televisions , Desktop & Laptops , Tablets , and Signage & Advertising Display Boards 
Companies covered:

Toray International, Inc., 3M, Nitto Denko Corp., Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Teijin Ltd., KOLON Industries, Inc., LG Chem, Hyosung Chemical, Toyobo Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., AGC,  IDEX Optical Technologies. , Boyd, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., and ALPHA Optical Co., LTD.

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising demand from smartphones and tablets
  • Rising uptake in other applications
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Fluctuations in raw material prices
  • Availability of substitutes 

Key Developments

  • ZEISS will launch a new strategic business unit, ZEISS Photonics & Optics, effective October 1, 2024
  • In April 2024, BASF backs launch of first AAAAA certified standing study luminaire by Panasonic
  • In October 2020, Zeon Corporation started the operation of its new manufacturing line for retardation films for large-screen TVs in Tsuruga
  • In June 2020, Ningbo Shanshan signed an agreement to acquire LG Chem’s liquid crystal display polarizer business

*Definition: The optical films market involves the manufacturing and trading of various plastic films such as reflective polarizing films, DBEF films, broadband antireflection films, and thin-film polymer films. These films are used as polarizers for liquid crystal displays and touchscreens in consumer electronics like TVs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They enhance the optical functionality and performance of displays by improving brightness, increasing clarity, reducing reflections, and delivering richer colors.

Market Segmentation

  • Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Polarizing Film
    • Backlight Film
    • Others
  •  Application Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Smartphones
    • Automotive Display
    • Televisions
    • Desktop & Laptops
    • Tablets
    • Signage & Advertising Display Boards
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Toray International, Inc.
    • 3M
    • Nitto Denko Corp.
    • Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.
    • Teijin Ltd.
    • KOLON Industries, Inc.
    • LG Chem
    • Hyosung Chemical
    • Toyobo Co., Ltd.
    • Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.
    • AGC
    • IDEX Optical Technologies.
    • Boyd
    • Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
    • ALPHA Optical Co., LTD.

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the global optical films market is projected to be 8.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Rising demand from smartphones and tablets and rising uptake in other applications are the major factor driving the growth of the global optical films market.

Fluctuations in raw material prices and availability of substitutes are the major factors hampering the growth of the global optical films market.

In terms of type, polarizing film, is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

Toray International, Inc., 3M, Nitto Denko Corp., Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Teijin Ltd., KOLON Industries, Inc., LG Chem, Hyosung Chemical, Toyobo Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., AGC, IDEX Optical Technologies. , Boyd, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., and ALPHA Optical Co., LTD. are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the global optical films market.

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