The global electronic paper display market size was worth USD 1,767 million in 2021. It is expected to reach a market value of USD 5,220 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14.5% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
An electrically charged surface that mimics ink's appearance on paper is called an electronic paper display. For applications including e-books, electronic newspapers, portable signs, and foldable displays, the electronic paper display (EPD), electronic ink (e-ink), or electrophoretic display are employed. Due to their cutting-edge characteristics, such as readability in direct light (in both indoor and outdoor environments), low power consumption, lightweight, durability, and convenient construction, EPDs have significantly advanced display technology.
Electronic paper has several benefits over conventional LCD screens, including readability similar to paper and incredibly low battery usage. EPDs are used for various purposes, including retail and transportation, bus stops, and rail information boards. For instance, the Jerusalem Transportation Master Plan Team (JTMT) has advanced the passenger information systems at bus stops with solar-powered e-paper displays. E-Ink Holdings and Papercast have created a solar-powered electronic paper passenger information display technology for Japan's smart bus stop project. Furthermore, the rising demand for on-the-move information, the growing number of electronic readers, and the development of easy-to-use display devices are among the significant factors driving the electronic paper display market.
EPDs are a remarkable development in display technology owing to their advanced features, such as readability under direct light (indoor and outdoor ambiance), lower power consumption, lightweight, durability, and convenient composition. The main advantages of electronic paper over conventional LCD screens are paper-like readability and meager power consumption. Companies such as E Ink Holdings Inc. continued their commitment to developing EPD products and technologies. In addition to continuing to advance the EPD module technology, the company has also been devoted to the innovation of color EPD technology. As the e-paper technology's product applications and ecosystem continue to develop, the company plays a pivotal role in the overall supply chain. It remains a prominent vendor in technology and production capacity through endless innovation and resource investment.
EPD has been an integral part of the consumer electronics and wearables industry. There has been a growing demand for consumer electronics over the forecast period, contributing to the market growth due to the constant demand for display technologies. The rapid adoption of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices is driving the expansion of the consumer electronics market and raising the need for more efficient display technology. Most consumer electronics use e-ink technology to reduce eye strain and increase battery life. The market for electronic paper devices is also expected to be driven by the increasing availability of free e-books online and a shift in tech-savvy users' preferences from traditional books to portable electronic reading devices.
Digital transport signage has also been another application of this technology, replacing the traditional ones in displaying bus routes, timely updating real-time information of traffic, news, forecast weather, etc., bringing much more convenience to public transport. Furthermore, with multiple merits such as energy-saving, bi-stable, zero-glare, and no blue-ray, these displays could be very beneficial in healthcare settings as they would not disturb patients. Moreover, applications such as digital ward number plates, medicine shelf labels, hospital bed number plates, digital information boards, etc., have also been witnessed. Such applications contribute to market growth.
The e-paper display has been slow to update and unsuitable for animations or fast-changing displays. These displays are costlier as compared to LCD and other similar size displays. The e-paper displays have a limited software library, support very few fonts, and have less memory. The image update time for these displays is typically relatively large, making it impossible to show rapid movement fluently. Color electrophoretic displays are available, but the performance of these displays is typically lower. Moreover, video capability and color richness have minimal availability, which is a market challenge for e-paper displays. Such factors hamper market growth.
Future market players will undoubtedly benefit greatly from the development of smart cities. E-paper displays also assist green transportation and smart city concepts, which provide enormous market growth potential. Leading e-paper display producer E Ink Holdings Inc., for instance, has seen positive growth for its products, including the most recent Kaleido color e-paper display, and has opted to increase capacity by ten times to meet the demands of the expanding market.
The global electronic paper display market is segmented by end-user and region.
By end-user, the global electronic paper display market is segmented into Consumer Electronics (Wearable, E-readers, Mobile Devices, etc.), Retail (Dividers, Electronic Shelf Displays), Institutional (Signage, Posters, etc.), and Others (Media & Entertainment, Transportation, Industrial/Smart Packaging, Healthcare, Architectural Applications).
Consumer Electronics occupies the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% during the forecast period. EPD is a crucial component of wearable technology as well as consumer electronics. Due to the ongoing need for display technologies, the consumer electronics industry is expected to increase significantly during the forecast period. Furthermore, the intense penetration of mobile phones, tablets, and smartphones fuels growth in the consumer electronics industry, which demands more effective display technologies. Additionally, E-ink technology is used for most consumer electronics to provide low eye strain and enhanced battery life.
Retail is the second largest segment. Over the past few years, digitization has become an enormously prominent and dynamic topic within the retail industry. This trend will continue over the coming years across all segments, from fashion to food, drugstores, and DIY. Electronic paper displays have origins in two innovation drivers favoring digitization. Firstly, certain technologies' maturity level generates a technology push that provides higher efficiency and innovative business models. Secondly, an increasing market pull originates from latent, unsatisfied customer needs and the need within the industry to reduce costs. This has driven the adoption of electronic paper displays across the retail sector.
Smart retailing is also expected to expand market opportunities shortly, where retailers can create optimum synchronization between offline and digital channels. ESL essentially behaves as an IoT-connected device in front of the customer. The interconnected nature of ESLs provides new ways for retailers to be price competitive to win sales with tech-savvy consumers. Some retailers were observed sweeping competitors' websites and featuring a competitor's price on the ESL next to their lower price, making it easier for customers to decide.
Institutional is the third largest segment. The demand for displays is increasing significantly with technological innovations in digital signage and interactive display technology. The primary concern issue for regular displays is mainly energy usage, which primarily drove the deployment of e-paper displays. The industry witnessed companies such as TOPPAN Printing and Isetan Mitsukoshi putting ACeP displays for commercial use in Japan as a digital point-of-purchase. The displays are fast emerging as the preferred medium of digital signage worldwide. The primary reason is that they offer exceptional paper-like clarity in almost any lighting condition and require low power for their operation.
Furthermore, companies, including E-Ink Holdings, foresee the development of signage displays and expect to align with the concepts of eco-friendly and smart city scenarios. E-Ink Holdings, which majorly captures the market for e-paper, is looking to expand further into digital signage, a tremendous growth market. Additionally, the technical advantages of digital signages and the inclusion in smart cities, new technology applications, such as whiteboards, and interactive signages of different form factors are expected to drive the market.
By region, the global electronic paper display market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
Europe accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period. The usage of e-ink signage in the region is not only limited to outdoor signs but also indoors. Opticon, a manufacturer of scanning solutions, digital signage, and electronic shelf labels, has a range of e-paper display-based Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) and colored signage to create a unique retail and warehouse environment. ESLs are used in industries, such as mobile shops, pharmacies, point-of-sale, food retail, home appliances, warehouse, industry, and room signage. Furthermore, European players have been introducing EDP-based mobile phones and tablets to boost the market growth.
North America is estimated to reach USD 1,556 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14.5%. The e-paper display market in North America is gaining traction due to technological developments, a favorable environmental impact from much less energy usage compared to other display technologies, and expansion in application areas. E-paper could be a desirable addition to the smartwatch market, especially for outdoor use, with the added virtue of being readable in strong sunlight. Moreover, EPD is being used by smartphones.
The Consumer Technology Association's (CTA) July 2021 report on the United States Consumer Technology Sales and Forecast study predicts that overall smartphone sales in the country will rise by 10% to 154 million units, bringing in a gain of 15% in revenue of USD 73 billion. These occurrences will probably fuel market expansion in the area. The usage of the e-paper display system is prominently seen for its application in consumer electronics in the region. For instance, in September 2021, Amazon announced the next generation of Kindle Paperwhite with three new models, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, and Kindle Paperwhite Kids, priced at USD 139.99. Kindle Paperwhite is equipped with a 6.8-inch display, adjustable warm light, and increased battery life. Signature Edition was added with an auto-adjusting light sensor and offered wireless charging. Such instances fuel the market demand in the region.
Asia-Pacific is one of the significant investors and adopters in the studied market, owing to growing investment in industrial sectors and a vast range of applications. Electronic paper displays (EDPs) are used in a wide range of industry verticals in the region. The region is also a front-runner in integrating electronic display paper technology in the retail sector. For instance, in April 2021, Hanshow, a leading provider of electronic shelf labels and digital retail solutions, announced adopting new ePaper display technology with four-color in the company's upcoming electronic shelf labels. The new four-color E Ink Spectra 3100 is produced by E Ink and was designed especially for electronic shelf labels (ESL) and retail signage.
As retail becomes increasingly automated, ESL tags and other digital retail solutions have provided retailers the benefits of labor-free updates, system-wide pricing, and exact price messaging to customers for an enhanced shopping experience. The market players in the region have constantly been innovating to launch enhanced products. For instance, in April 2021, Guangzhou OED Technologies Inc., an electronic-paper display supplier based in Guangdong, China, unveiled one of the world's thinnest electronic price tags in partnership with an electronic price tag producer based in Fujian, China.
Key players in the global electronic paper display market are
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