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Touch panel market to reach $3.3 B by 2015

Posted: 22 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:touch panel  resistive touch 

According to the Touch Panel Market Analysis, a new report available from DisplaySearch, the touch panel market is expected to grow to Rs.13,206.95 crore ($3.3 billion) and 660 million units by 2015.

Unlike previous industry studies, the comprehensive DisplaySearch report covers the entire touch panel market and is based on actual supplier surveys. The report includes all of the available technologies, applications, and suppliers within a market reinvigorated by last year's launch of the Apple iPhone.

"The iPhone demonstrated how multi-touch technology is enabling a new generation of user interfaces," explains Chris Crotty, Director of Small and Medium Displays Research at DisplaySearch. Crotty adds, "High volume mobile phone shipments will drive down the cost of touch technology and thereby enable it to spread more rapidly into other devices such as portable media players, digital cameras and others."

Figure 1: 2007-2015 Touch Panel Shipments (millions) and Revenues (US$B)

In a market historically dominated by so-called resistive touch technology, Apple's iPhone uses a different technology called projected capacitance that enabled the multi-touch functionality that had been lacking in resistive-based touch panels. Projected capacitance is one of about a dozen technologies vying for market dominance, where each technology has advantages and drawbacks. Some, like resistive touch technology, have been available for many years while others, like digital waveguide, are relative newcomers improving on previous generations. Key display suppliers, like Sharp and TMDisplay, are scrambling to develop so-called in-cell optical touch technology that embeds photo sensors directly into LCDs. By integrating the touch function directly into an LCD, display suppliers hope to capture a larger share of available revenue. Currently, touch panels feature separate panels or sensors placed on top of or around the actual display.

Figure 2: Which Touch Panel Technologies are Suppliers Pursuing?

Technology is just one of several key attributes in a user-configurable database included in the DisplaySearch report. The database also includes over 20 applications and sub-categories, over 60 suppliers, and regions, as well as panel sizes, structures, and contact types, like finger, pen or both. It forecasts shipments, revenue and pricing from 2007 to 2015. The report also features a qualitative discussion of major market and industry trends.

Other key findings from the report include

  • Mobile phones will account for 34% and 21% of all touch panel shipments and revenues, respectively, during the forecast period. Shipments of touch enabled mobile phones will reach 223 million units by 2015.
  • Despite the emergence of competing technologies, resistive touch solutions will retain 86% share of shipments during the forecast period. However, resistive revenue share will drop from 78% in 2007 to 64% in 2015.
  • The overall average selling price of touch panels will actually increase nearly 8% between 2007 and 2015. In many applications, increases in panel sizes and functionality mix will offset price declines for older panels.

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