iPhone drives touch-screen adoption

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Apple's iPhone continues to drive touch-screen adoption, and experts predict that global shipments of touch-screen display modules will more than double by 2012..

Research firm iSuppli said that the worldwide market for touch-screen modules will reach 341 million units and US$3.4 billion in value in 2008.

The market will grow to 833 million units by 2013, expanding at compound annual growth rate of 19.5 percent from 2008. Global touch-screen module revenue is forecast to grow to US$6.4 billion by 2013, rising at a rate of 13.7 percent from 2008.

"The number of touch-screen technologies including those in production and emerging products increased from 16 distinct approaches in mid-2007 to 20 this month," said Jennifer Colegrove, senior analyst for emerging displays at iSuppli.

"New touch-screen technologies are being commercialised, and 12 types have now commenced mass production."

Colegrove pointed out that Ntrig and Lumio, for example, have been shipping new touch-screen products since the end of 2007. Many companies commenced touch-screen manufacturing and integration in 2007 and more are starting in 2008.

Spurred by Apple's successful iPhone, sales of touch screens using projected capacitive technology are growing dramatically, iSuppli noted.

Projected capacitive touch-screen technology is more durable and has better transmittance than the more commonly used resistive technology.

More touch-screen manufacturers are developing and commercialising this type of screen, and the average price gap between the display types is dwindling, making the technology more attractive.

Projected capacitive technology grew at the fastest rate of all touch technologies in 2007, logging 10.5 million units at a value of $222m.

ISuppli forecasts that projected capacitive touch screens will maintain high growth momentum and reach 123.5 million units and US$1.3 billion in revenue by 2013.
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