What Consumers Want from Their Displays

Dec82014

As a leading flat panel display equipment manufacturer driving the industry roadmap, Applied Materials recently commissioned an international survey of consumers in the U.S., China and India to solicit general attitudes and preferences for mobile displays and flat screen TVs. Since most new displays pass through Applied’s equipment during production to enable higher resolution and more powerful and affordable displays, we wanted to hear first-hand what users in some of the largest consumer markets look for in their devices. 

Now completed, the survey results were insightful and even a bit surprising. See below for some high-level takeaways that consumers in all regions had in common.
 
1. Cracked mobile displays are a problem everywhere.
 
Fragile displays are the number one issue among consumers. In everyday life, whether in a meeting, on the subway or in a restaurant, you may have noticed how many people have cracked displays on their smartphones — or have even experienced this yourself (I certainly have  my kids seem to crack their screens on the first day they get the device). So it’s not surprising that in the U.S., one in every 10 primary mobile device screens is cracked. In fact, cracked screens are a significant issue across all the countries surveyed, but most so in India where one in four people surveyed have cracked screens. Hence the majority of respondents in all countries strongly desire a mobile display that is scratch and crack resistant.
 
2. Futuristic screen form factors are of great interest to consumers.
 
Visualizing the future of displays always evokes the discussion of flexible screens that can be bent, folded and even rolled up. Some curved displays are already available in the market which could eventually lead to more flexible screens, and the consumers surveyed certainly hope so. The majority of respondents had a keen interest in future display technologies, with a particular appetite for foldable and bendable displays.
 
3. Bigger is Better.
 
As one might expect, most respondents favored larger sized screens when asked about their TV preferences. But what exactly constitutes a “large” screen varies from region to region, though there is a unanimous sweet spot for screen sizes in the 50-59-inch range.  
 
4. The U.S. isn’t as hooked on tablets as other countries surveyed.
 
In China and India, tablets have essentially become a second television, a trend that has not caught on as strongly in the U.S. Households in the U.S. have three times as many flat screen TVs and watch more hours of television per day than India or China, who prefer to watch TV on their tablets. 
 
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be examining the survey results in more detail, diving deeper into display technology preferences across the regions and how Applied is working closely with customers to bring these next-generation features to life through improved battery life, enhanced touchscreen and advanced LCD/OLED technologies.
 
Check out the full Display Survey results and stay tuned for a closer look in future blog posts.
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