Not So Remote
Eight in 10 remote controls are made in Greater China. Driven by the home entertainment and home automation sectors, the remote control industry in Greater China continues to post gains with export growth expected at 38 percent in 2006, or $138 million from $100 million in 2005, based on data gathered by Global Sources.
The Greater China region, which covers mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, accounts for about 80 percent of the global production of remote controls. To date, there are about 120 remote control manufacturers in the region, a quarter of which were surveyed by Global Sources. Based on the data furnished by these contacted companies, the total monthly production is estimated at 100 million remote controls and the total monthly capacity at 148 million units.
Production is dominated by infrared (IR) remote controls in single-device and universal types. Increased versatility, however, is pushing the popularity of universal remote controls, although single-device remote controls continue to have a solid supply base in the region. At the same time, the line-of-sight (LoS) limitation of IR technology has prompted the rise of RF-based remote controls.