Optical Glass Market size is forecast to reach $2.1 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 3.5% during 2021-2026 due to increasing consumption from the medical sector, consumer electronics, semiconductors, and other industries. Optical glass is an excellent thermal insulator that helps to reduce surface reflection and improves display contrast. It increased power consumption without extra brightness and minimizes induced eye fatigue. Additionally, flint glass and crown glass are widely used in telescopes and medical devices. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s medical device market is expected to increase at a CAGR of 35.4% to reach Rs. 352,450 crore (US$ 50 billion) in 2025 from Rs. 77,539 crore (US$ 11 billion) in 2020. Hence, an increasing market of medical devices is estimated to increasing the consumption of optical glasses.
Impact of COVID-19:
COVID-19 has brought effects on many aspects, like massive slowing of the supply chain, falling business confidence, and uncertainty about the future. Optical glass is mainly used in smartphones, LEDs, and other electronic equipment, which is driving fast changes in the market landscape. In accordance with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), smartphone market sales dropped 10% in May 2020 to 32.6 million, and 16% in June 2020 to 27.7 million. Hence, due to lockdown, the market is negatively impacted because of material supplements.
Optical Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Type
Flint glass held the largest share in the optical glass market in 2020. Flint glass is the ideal optical glass for perfect visibility. It is widely used in electronic and medical devices due to various properties such as light transmission and double glazing. Flint glasses increased strength compared with normal glass. Also, flint glass reduces color defects which are expected to drive the consumption of flint optical glass.
Optical Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Application
Medical devices have been the primary market for the optical glass market in 2020 and growing at a CAGR of 3.7% in 2021-2026. Optical glass is used to protect medical diagnostic imaging windows against radiation and provides a clear view. Optical communication is an important part of non-instructive surgical methods, known as endoscopy. In such applications, bright light is used on the surgical area with the help of optical glass. Thus, increasing expenditure for surgeries is estimated to grow the consumption of optical glass for surgical tools. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), in the United States, patients spent US$ 761 million on breast lift surgery, US$ 358 million on eyelid surgery, and US$ 1.1 billion on silicone breast implant surgery in 2018. Additionally, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s domestic pharmaceutical market is expected to reach US$ 65 billion by 2024 and ~US$ 120-130 billion by 2030. Hence, the increasing pharmaceutical sector is estimated to grow demand for medical devices which, in turn, increasing the demand for optical glass in upcoming years.
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Optical Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia Pacific dominated the optical glass market with 32% in 2020 due to increasing demand for semiconductors, eyeglasses, and medical devices in developing countries such as India and China. Optical glass enhanced abrasion resistance, light transmission, and can block UV rays. This thermal insulator provides a barrier against wind and dust. Optical glasses are durable and withstand low to high temperatures. In India, there are millions of people suffering from eye disorders and need treatment. According to Intra Ocular Implant and Refractive Society of India (IIRSI), 550 million people have vision problems. Hence majorly consumption of optical glasses in India for eyeglasses is estimated to grow the consumption of optical glasses. On the other hand, according to the National Bureau of Statistics China, the medical device market reached USD 78.81 billion in 2018, an increase of 22% from 2017. Hence, such factors are projected to grow optical glass market size.
Optical glass Market Drivers
Growing Demand from the Consumer Electronics
Increasing adoption of optical glass (flint glass and crown glass) for consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs are estimated to grow market size. According to the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA), India had approximately 500 million smartphone users in 2019, and this number is growing steadily to reach over 800 million by 2022. In September 2020, Apple Inc. launched Apple Watch Series 6 (blood oxygen sensor) and Apple Watch SE, two iPad models, iPhone. Apple Watch brings significant developments in health and wellness features to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Hence, growing smartphone users and expansion of consumer electronics is expected to grow the optical glass market size during this era.
Growing Demand from Medical Sector
Optical glass is a good thermal insulator, versatile, and enabling technologies for the development of future generations of medical devices, instruments, and techniques for diagnostic therapy, and surgical applications. According to Invest India, the medical device sector is likely to reach US$65 billion by 2024 and is also expected to export medical devices approximately US$10 billion by 2025. Furthermore, according to the international trade administration, in Mexico, pharmaceutical products sales reached US$ 11.1 billion in 2019 as compared to US$ 10.8 billion in 2018, and the pharmaceutical market was US$ 2.5 billion in 2019. Hence, all such factors are expected to grow the optical glass market.
Optical glass Market Challenges
Poor Thermal Conductivity of Optical Glass
Due to poor thermal conductivity, the softening temperature is low and the deformation is easy, hence the optical property is affected by low thermal conductivity. Optical glass offers superior transparency of heat; hence, it should balance with its relatively low energy saving. Apart from this, due to low thermal conductivity, it requires high energy consumption during the manufacturing process which is hampering the optical glass market growth.
Optical Glass Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the optical glass market. Major players in the Optical glass market are Schott Glaswerke AG, Ohara Corporation, HOYA CORPORATION, CDGM glass company, Edmund Optics, Nikon Corporation, Crytran Ltd, CORNING, OAG Werk Optik, Precision Optical Inc., Hubei New Huaguang, and among others.
Asia-Pacific dominates the optical glass market owing to increasing demand from applications such as medical devices, surgical tools, consumer electronics, and semiconductors.
Increasing adoption of flint glass and crown glass for consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and LED systems, is likely to aid in the market growth of the optical glass market.
Increasing demand for optical eyeglasses going forward in Asian countries will create opportunity for the optical glass market.
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