Report: Touch Screen Market to Reach $14B in 2012 Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Friday, 23 March 2012 16:21

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The touch screen market is expected to reach $14 billion in 2012, says IDTechEx.

The biggest application for touch screens in general, and projected capacitive screens in particular, is mobile phones and then tablets.

The biggest market opportunity in terms of shipped units is for mobile phones. IDTechEx projects touch penetration in mobile phones to reach over 40% in 2012 and to rise to almost total coverage in the next decade. Shipment of tablets with touch screen technology is expected to reach 100 million units this year.

Today, the biggest market for projected capacitive touch screens is in mobile and smartphones, but tablets are right behind and quickly gaining momentum, says the firm. Analog resistive technology is widely used in small size (> 10 in.) healthcare and hospitality applications, as well as high-volume retail environments. Embedded touch technology is currently the leading emerging touch technology, and on-cell technology in particular has the biggest potential for small size consumer electronics, but is also suitable for medium-size applications.

Other touch technologies mainly relevant for specialized touch devices, such as ATMs, banking and financial applications, but also eBooks and mobile phones to some extent, are traditional infrared and surface acoustic wave technologies.

Apart from adding touch functionality to more commercial consumer devices, the next big opportunity will be the replacement of indium tin oxide, especially in projected capacitive and resistive touch technologies, says IDTechEx.

Today, half the costs of projected capacitive touch screen modules come from the ITO sensor. The replacement of this widely used ITO sensor electrode material will not only change the game entirely in terms of costs, but also open the gate to bendable, rollable and stretchable electronics with touch functionality, says the firm.

The touch screen market is expected to triple in the next decade. The next big markets for touch screens are eBooks, (mobile) game consoles, car displays and navigation devices, as well as digital cameras for small to medium-size displays. Bigger touch screens over 10 in. can be increasingly found in laptops and PC monitors, as well as other screens and TVs.

In ten years from now, projected capacitive touch technology will continue to lead the market as panel costs are decreasing. Due to extremely low cost, resistive touch technology will continue to lead the market in price-sensitive applications that need precise touch. The rise of embedded touch technology, currently the leading emerging touch technology, will be conditioned by more and more LCD manufacturers entering the field.





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