Sales of touch panels are expected to rise to US$3.5 million in 2010 on strong demand in emerging markets and electronics linked to creating a digital home, Taipei-based researcher Topology Research Institute (拓墣產研) forecast yesterday.
This year the sales are expected to increase 9 percent to US$2.76 billion from last year, Topology projected.
"Apple's iPhone featuring a touch screen has caused increases in demand for such screens this year as mobile phone brands are following Apple's suit. The spike in demand has also caused supply constraints recently," Topology analyst Harrison Po (
In China, in particular, numerous "no-brand" mobile phone suppliers, which play a big role in the market, started replacing traditional keypads with touch screens in the second half of the year, Po said.
"We did not expect the demand from China to grow so fast, though China is a very dynamic market," Po said.
Consumer electronics including handsets and car navigation systems would fuel demand followed by increased demand for larger-sized screens used in a wide variety of products from tablet PCs to medical equipment, Po said.
Demand for car navigation systems, for example, is expected to grow to 10 million units in 2010 from the estimated 8.5 million units for next year, riding on a growing trend of installing such devices in new cars in Europe and the US, Topology said.
To cope with rapidly-growing demand, local touch panel makers including J Touch Corp (
J Touch planned to boost annual output by 92 percent to 48 million 3.5-inch screens next year, while Transtouch aimed to expand production to 3 million units next year from 800,000 units this year.
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