Suppliers of raw speakers in China are confident of invigorated production this year that will surpass 2009's economic crunch-impeded growth of 10 percent. As foreign companies continue populating the domestic automotive and LCD TV sectors, more opportunities are expected to open up for the industry's more than 1,000 members. Further, this will pave the way for new entrants. The anticipated global recovery from the crisis also bodes well for exports.
China is the world's main production center for electroacoustic components, developing at more than 20 percent YoY since overtaking Japan with a 1.4 billion-unit output in 1996. By 2007, it was at 7.6 billion, with raw speakers accounting for 1.9 billion. The following year, the latter's volume reached nearly 2.3 billion units and 1.3 billion were exported. Outbound shipments reach over 100 markets with the US and the EU as major destinations.
Dynamic raw speakers dominate output because of their mature technology and broad adoption. Car units comprise a growing subcategory produced by more than 50 local companies.
Flat-panel types are also available but turnout is low and caters to entry-level applications. Fewer than 20 suppliers are involved in the line due to the technology threshold, which is solely based on NXT. The majority are midsize operations with a monthly output of about 500,000 units. The Middle East and the US are the main overseas destinations.
Makers will continue to pursue this line, even if current efforts are deadlocked on improving sound quality and enhancing frequency response. Shenzhen Laiyinda Industry Co. Ltd is confident of sustained growth in 2010 based on last year's estimated output increase of at least 30 percent.
Other suppliers focus instead on alternatives to take advantage of the demand in flat-panel TVs. To this end, Zhejiang Innuovo is developing superthin dynamic units. Lower-priced, such designs will retain the high sound quality of traditional speakers minus the bulky profile. So far, the company's slimmest model is 1.6mm and delivers a 10W output.
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