Where the numbers come from

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.

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. Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA) provides market information for the diode–laser market. Industrial–laser market information is provided by Industrial Laser Solutions, and the Medical Laser Report newsletter 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, which examines the overall market trends with a detailed discussion of nondiode lasers, was published in January. Part II covers the diode–laser marketplace.

Readers interested in the detailed results of both surveys will find them in the Jan. 1 and Feb. 1 editions of the Optoelectronics Report newsletter, published by Laser Focus World. A more extensive review of the data, with supporting commentary from market analysts, was presented at the Lasers and Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held in conjunction with Photonics West (San Jose, CA) on Jan. 21. For more information, see www.marketplaceseminar.com.

Collecting the data

We conducted our research and analysis for the review and forecast during October and November 2007. We asked manufacturers to provide a confidential estimate of total worldwide market size (dollars and units) for 2007, based on year–to–date actual data, and a forecast for 2008. 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 2007 estimates with this year’s restated 2007 numbers will show differences and occasional discontinuities in the numbers. In general, we do not attempt to explain these differences in detail. We request “bottom–up” market estimates, and the respondents to our survey do vary from year to year––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 2007 last year and for 2007 this year may also reflect whatever degree of optimism or pessimism was inherent in last year’s forecast (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/283868).

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