Picoprojectors are arriving on the market fast and furious. Forecasts are high and vary considerably from each other. 3 Million, 17 Million, 100 Million? It depends on:
Insight Media Analyst
1) Who you listen to
2) What you are forecasting
3) What year you are forecasting it for
4) Your level of optimism
5) When you made the forecast
The 100M units per year forecast I have heard applies to sometime after 2015 and was generated by a very optimistic component manufacturer who (presumably) wanted to impress a venture capitalist.
The 17 Million number comes from Bill Coggshall at Pacific Media Associates (PMA) and represents all picoprojectors in 2012. According to him, most of these will be sold to consumers (14.5M) and only a few will be sold for professional applications (3.0M)
The 3 Million number comes from iSuppli. It represents only the embedded picoprojector market in 2013. They estimate the market for 2009 will be about 50K embedded units.
According to a recent article in DigiTimes, Young Optics has lowered its estimate of what share of revenues will come from picoprojectors in 2009. The cut in their estimate wasn’t a minor adjustment, it was from 19% to 5%. Since the approximate annual revenues at Young Optics are US$155M, this means they dropped their 2009 revenue estimate for picoprojectors from about $29.5M to $7.8M. If you assume their revenue per picoprojector is $100, this means they dropped their unit forecast from 295K units to 78K units.
Frankly, Insight Media thinks the 78K number is about right for Young Optics and the higher number would have been a very optimistic forecast to make in 2008 looking forward to 2009. Young Optics is a major player in the picoprojector market and supplies all the PK-101 projectors to its sister company, Optoma. Even so, the PK-101 and picoprojector sales in general would have needed to make it to the "Super Hit" level to make their original forecast.
The PMA estimate was 420K total units in 2009 from all manufacturers and Insight Media believes even this number is high. Our expectation is a total of about 350K picoprojectors will be sold this year. It isn’t clear how many of these will be embedded units, so for the time being I will accept the iSuppli number of 50K, although I think that may be a little high. In the embedded segment, a lot depends on how well the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj does when it is introduced in September. (See the August 5 DD) If that camera/projector sells well, and Nikon has its supply chain in order, this camera alone could sell 50K units by Christmas.
I am currently working on the Insight Media 2009 Picoprojector Report and one of the key sections will be picoprojector sales going forward. I bashfully admit that in the 2008 picoprojector report, I estimated numbers similar to what Young Optics had expected. An earlier estimate I had done in 2007 was more in line with what actually happened in 2009 but everyone at the time told me it was much too low. I don’t have a VC to impress, so hopefully the estimates that make it into the 2009 Picoprojector Report will not be tinged with excessive optimism.