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COVID-19 impact on the portable projector market

A novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) surfaced in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has spread across the world. In March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a national emergency by the US government. The pandemic has not only negatively affected the US and global economies but also has disrupted global supply chains and financial markets, resulting in the enforcement of travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders, along with facility closures. Additionally, companies are taking various strict measures to protect the health and safety of their employees and combat the pandemic; for instance, most companies have provided their employees with the work-from-home option, where possible. However, wherever working from home is not feasible, including manufacturing facilities, deep cleaning, and social distancing protocols are strictly followed at all facilities. The full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on companies’ operational and financial performances depends on the duration and rate at which the pandemic has spread within the specific region; the possibility of the second wave of coronavirus with increasing cases; and related containment and mitigation measures taken by the state, local, and international governments to prevent disease spread.

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The extent of the pandemic’s impact on companies will also depend on the employees’ ability to work safely in the facilities, customers’ ability to continue to operate or receive the products, the ability of manufacturers and suppliers to continue to operate, and the demand for the end products and services from their customers. During the prior three months beginning from March 31, 2020, companies were temporarily closed or reduced production activities at manufacturing facilities in North America, Asia, and Europe for safety reasons, as well as in response to the lower demand for portable projectors; however, from June 30, 2020, manufacturing facilities (and nearly all of the suppliers) had resumed operations, and 95% of production capacity was available as return-to-work protocols were initiated at non-manufacturing facilities where employees were previously working remotely.

Market Dynamics

Driver: Technological advancements in portable projectors

With technological advancements, portable projectors are no longer oversized, complex, and hard to use devices that offer poor quality and unusual effects. They are lightweight and offer ease of use for applications in business, educational, and entertainment purposes. Modern-day portable projectors can be connected to the internet and are equipped with memory devices to store relevant data. Additionally, portable projectors come with convenient USB, HDMI, and MHL ports,  which are required to access information and can be easily connected to smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Moreover, portable projectors offer high resolutions, i.e., HD and full HD, for better picture quality and have in-built speakers and batteries. These devices are easy to carry and can easily fit in pockets. Portable projectors are available at a reasonable price, which makes them an economically viable option for home entertainment purposes. They are mainly bought based on their features of portability, convenience, and budget. Companies, nowadays, are also offering high-quality 2D and 3D portable projectors that emit less heat and consume low power. Such features are likely to accelerate the sale of these devices in the coming years.

Restraint: Technological constraints associated with DLP projectors

Most of the portable projectors are equipped with DLP technology and are preferred as they offer vibrant image quality with high contrast as compared to other technologies. However, in DLP, the use of a spinning color wheel to modulate images has the potential to produce a unique visible artifact on the screen, commonly referred to as the “rainbow effect.” It is due to colors separating out in distinct red, green, and blue because of sequential color updating from the wheel. As LCD projectors always deliver a constant red, green, and blue image simultaneously, the rainbow effect is not the case with LCD projectors.

Opportunity: Reduction in average selling price of portable projectors

The market for portable projectors is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years. The towering demand for portable projectors in the home entertainment segment is forcing manufacturing companies for mass production. Along with this, companies are also significantly reducing the price of these devices for the home entertainment segment to capture a broader consumer base. Thus,  surging demand, coupled with the reduction in prices, would provide opportunities for the growth of the portable projectors market.

Challenge: Operational challenges for low-end models

Portable projectors may have some operational challenges, such as rainbow effect and light leakage, during projection. These issues are prominent in low-end models. The rainbow effect may occur when there is a fast-moving image, or it may occur for rapid eye movement of the viewer while observing the image. Additionally, the rainbow effect may cause headache to the viewer. Thus, along with the rainbow effect, light leakage can create a gray bar on the projected image and spoil the projected image. These factors pose a challenge for the growth of the portable projector market.

The DLP segment to hold the largest size of the portable projector market by 2025

Manufacturers mainly use portable projectors based on DLP technology due to their features such as higher native contrast, compact size, and lighter weight than portable projectors based on LCD and LCoS technologies. DLP projectors offer a brilliant, colorful, clear image with good contrast.

The consumer electronics to account for the largest size of the portable projector market in 2020.

The growing inclination of end users toward using lightweight and compact electronic products and the increasing attraction toward creating personalized entertainment hubs to enjoy  films, games, and sports, music, and any other streaming content directly from smartphones, tablets, and laptops are expected to facilitate the growth of the portable projector market.

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