Apple iPhone fuels touch-screen bonanza

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Apple iPhone fuels touch-screen bonanza

USA - Revenue for leading technologies to double from 2006 to 2012.

The impending release of Apple's much-hyped iPhone will further boost an already buoyant global market for touch-screen technology, experts predict.

Market research firm iSuppli said that global shipment revenues for the leading touch-screen technologies will rise to $4.4bn by 2012, up from $2.4bn in 2006.

"Demand for touch-screen displays is being driven primarily by the mobile phone and consumer electronics industries, specifically portable game consoles, PDAs and portable navigation devices," said Jennifer Colegrove, senior analyst for display technology and strategy at iSuppli.

"However, as the market matures touch-screen displays will find a role in nearly every aspect of electronics life, from planes to automobiles to machine-control systems to home appliances."

The analyst noted that the eight leading touch-screen technologies are 'resistive', 'surface capacitive', 'projected capacitive', 'infrared', 'surface acoustic wave', 'optical', 'bending wave' and 'active digitiser'.

The eight other emerging touch-screen technologies are 'photo sensor in pixel', 'polymer waveguide', 'distributed light', 'strain gauge', 'multi-touch', 'dual-force touch', 'laser-point activated touch' and '3D touch'.

The resistive touch-screen market comprises more than two-thirds of the more than 100 manufacturers of touch-screen components. Because of the wide competitive field, this market is currently in the midst of a price war.

This is expected to force average selling prices to plummet 10 per cent annually for the next five years, according to iSuppli.

With profits diminishing, the firm predicts that there will be a number of mergers and acquisitions in the very near future.

"ISuppli believes that the applications most suitable for multi-touch screen displays are new handheld video game systems, map browsing systems and new mobile handsets that have a variety of additional applications beyond voice, i.e. Apple's iPhone," said the research firm.

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