The Laser Focus World Annual Review and Forecast of the Laser Marketplace is based on a worldwide survey of laser producers and covers 27 types of lasers and 20 applications. Diode-laser market information is provided by Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA). Industrial-laser market information is provided by Industrial Laser Solutions, and the Medical Laser Reportnewsletter provides the medical market analysis. This review is the only major survey of its kind in this industry whose results are made public.
For many, both inside and outside the industry, from private-sector investors to foreign and U.S. government bodies, this report is the only objective summary of major trends in our industry that is readily available. Part I examines the overall market trends with more detail on nondiode lasers. Part II covers the diode-laser marketplace.
Collecting the data
We conducted our research and analysis for the Review and Forecast during October and November 2006. We asked manufacturers to provide a confidential estimate of total worldwide market size (dollars and units) for 2006, based on year-to-date actual data, and a forecast for 2007. In addition to the information provided by the manufacturers, we also used data from other more narrowly focused market surveys, and we incorporated commentary provided by industry analysts who added market insight for specific segments.
Changes from last year
A comparison of last year’s 2006 estimates with this year’s restated 2006 numbers will show differences and occasional discontinuities in the numbers reported as compared to last year. In general, no attempt has been made to explain these differences in detail. We request “bottom-up” market estimates, and the respondents to our survey do vary from year to year-both in terms of the companies involved and the individuals-so variations in the results are inevitable. In addition, changes in market visibility occur as market shares change. Differences in the overall numbers for 2006 last year and for 2006 this year may also reflect whatever degree of optimism or pessimism was inherent in last year’s forecast (see Optoelectronics Report, Feb. 1, 2006).