Touch Screens Reaching Masses PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Wednesday, 20 May 2009 09:14

AUSTIN, TX -- Mobile phones are ringing up big sales for touch screen makers as about 220 million units were shipped for mobile phone applications in 2008. And the penetration rate in 2008 -- 16% -- will reach nearly 40% by 2015, says DisplaySearch.

“Touch screens are becoming widespread due to the ease of use and intuitive interfaces they enable, which can save time and increase productivity. Falling prices have also spurred adoption. Finally, touch screen devices are now perceived as cool and fun,” said Jennifer Colegrove, Ph.D., director of display technologies at DisplaySearch. “Touch screen penetration has been rapidly increasing in mobile phones, portable navigation devices, gaming and other applications. Over the next several years, touch screens will undergo strong growth in large-size applications, such as retail, ticketing, point of information and education/training.”

A DisplaySearch survey of over 170 suppliers of touch screen modules, controller ICs, ITO films and other technologies reveals an extremely diverse industry, with different companies pursuing several different technologies. There are over a dozen touch screen technologies. Resistive touch screen is the leader in terms of unit shipments and over 60 companies are manufacturing it. However, both surface and projected capacitive technologies have attracted numerous suppliers, and many companies are also pursuing multi-touch capabilities.

Furthermore, DisplaySearch believes this year will be marked by even more new touch technologies reaching commercialization and increasing penetration, such as in-cell, force sensing and some combination-type touch panels.

Other findings:

  • Popularized by Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch since 2007, shipments of projected capacitive touch screens have increased substantially and become the second biggest touch technology following closely behind resistive touch. About 27 touch screen suppliers manufacture it. Not only have more resistive touch screen manufacturers moved to produce projected capacitive, but projected capacitive technology has evolved to single layer or film type, and can serve sizes larger than 100".
  • The multi-touch penetration rate is increasing. Before the iPhone, multi-touch implementation required large, heavy and expensive devices. Currently, about 50 suppliers are shipping multi-touch screens using different technologies. Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7 will support multi-touch, enhancing industry interest, the research firm says.




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