The Electronics Industry Perimeter: A Single Industry with Multiple Faces

The Electronics Industry Perimeter: A Single Industry with Multiple Faces

The electronics industry scope cannot be restricted to mass-market products that are produced in millions and even billions of pieces a year (mobile phones, TVs, PCs, etc.). Mass-market products only represented 53% of the electronics industry in 2008.

The electronics scope also encompasses embedded electronics in transport (cars, planes, trains, etc.), defense equipment, IT infrastructures as well as electronics used in manufacturing process or professional services to boost productivity. In other words, the scope includes all professional electronic equipment.

Crisis Impact and Medium-Term Growth Perspectives

The 2008 financial crisis and its subsequent impact on global economy have a profound impact on the electronics industry. In 2009, the electronics industry is expected to decline by up to 6,8% in 2009 for the first time since the 2001 telecom crisis.

The DECISION growth scenario remains optimistic on the medium term as the market is expected to stabilize in 2010 before recovering its 2008 level as soon as 2011. Contrary to the last telecom crisis, the electronics industry is not at the origin of the current economic slowdown and should therefore recover much more rapidly than it did back in 2001.

Mass-Market vs. Professional Electronics Growth Perspective

Production growth per end application sector tells a rather exciting story: professional equipment will drive the overall electronics industry, growing above the average trend between 2008 and 2013.

Crisis Opportunity: Back to Innovation

The current economical crisis should not be seen as a threat for the electronics industry food chain. It should be seen as an opportunity to ‘exit through the roof’ thanks to innovation and reactivate the innovation engine which has been put on hold since the invention of mobile telecommunication in the 1990s. Societal needs and machine-to-machine communication in professional application segments— as well as converged devices mixing consumer-communication and computing features in mass market segments— demonstrate the largest growth perspectives and rely on intensive R&D efforts.

These markets could rapidly develop in the medium term and represent huge potential in the range of hundreds of millions and even billions of units per year, providing the electronics industry food chain with new killer applications.

Integration will be the electronics industry’s motto in the years to come. From the component industry where suppliers will develop systems and solutions rather than single components (More than Moore vs. More Moore, functional modules) to the equipment industry as electronic devices and systems will integrate other substrates and applications pushing further the limits of pervasion (mechatronics, biotech), integration is the key.

This integration process will create and experiment new business models that will support product introduction and market acceptance in new application fields such as energy, security and health.

The data stems from the report carried out by DECISION and released in 2009: World Electronic Industry 2008/2013 Production and Markets. This survey provides detailed production and market forecast figures for about 100 lines of products, data which is also split up into six regions (North America, Europe, China, Japan, etc). SEMI members benefit from a 20% discount on the full report. For more information on the report, please visit:

November 4, 2009