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Touchscreens conquer portable apps market

Posted: 09 Jul 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:touchscreen? portable application? smart phone?

DisplaySearch's latest Touch Panel Market Analysis reported that total touchscreen module revenue will grow from $4.3 billion in 2009 to nearly $14 billion by 2016, a CAGR of 18 percent.

"Touchscreen penetration is rapidly increasing in portable devices like mobile phones, media players and navigation units. Over the next several years, touchscreens will undergo strong growth in large-size applications such as all-in-one PCs, mini-note/slate PCs, education/training, and kiosks for point of information and self-check in," noted Jennifer Colegrove, director of display technologies at DisplaySearch. "The touchscreen industry is already a multibillion dollar industry, and still has great growth momentum. This is what makes it so attractive."

Resistive touch is still the leading technology in terms of unit shipments, and currently 90 companies manufacture it. However, projected capacitive technology has attracted numerous suppliers, with 56 companies currently supplying it, nearly twice as many as last year.

These two technologies are forecast to represent nearly 98 percent of touchscreen unit share in 2010, and will continue to dominate unit shipments with 82 percent of unit shipments in 2016.

The touchscreen industry is extremely diverse, with over a dozen touchscreen technologies. About 200 companies are pursuing these technologies, and some of them, like Elo/Tyco Electronics and 3M, manufacture several different touch technologies.

In addition, some companies only produce controller ICs, such as Atmel and Cypress, while others manufacture entire modules, including the touch sensor and controller IC such as Elo/Tyco Electronics and 3M.

In-cell touch, which was commercialized in May 2009, is experiencing high growth and penetration into large size displays, is expected to take off in 2011 once the technology can achieve higher yield rates. The technology is forecast to grow to more than $600 million by 2016.

On-cell projected capacitive touch, which was also commercialized in 2009, is experiencing good growth, but yield rates remain a concern and need to be closely watched to control costs. This segment is forecast to reach $1.7 billion by 2016.

As DisplaySearch previously forecasted, projected capacitive shipments have increased substantially. Projected capacitive touch has been popularized by Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch since 2007. With the iPad and iPhone 4 adopting it in 2010, DisplaySearch forecasts that projected capacitive touch will surpass resistive touch technology for the first time to become the leading touch technology on a revenue basis.

Touchscreen module revenue forecast

Touch mobiles
Mobile phones are the biggest application for touchscreens in terms of unit shipments, with two-thirds of units shipped in 2010. The report stated that about 531 million touchscreens will ship for mobile phone applications in 2010, up 41 percent y-on-y. Penetration rate of touch in mobile phones is also expected to double from 25.6 percent in 2009 to more than 50 percent in 2016.

The next two largest applicationsportable navigation devices and handheld gamesare losing share of the touch market as smart phones and other touch-enabled mobile phones take on more functionality.

DisplaySearch forecasts that touch functionality in mini-note/slate PCs will take off after 2010, growing from one million units shipped to 50 million units in 2016. Touch penetration in digital still cameras and camcorders is expected to increase over the next several years as well.

Touchscreens are also moving into new applications, such as e-readers and casino gaming. Touch technologies with high transmittance, low power consumption, multi-touch or gesture recognition will benefit the most.

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