Wintek Corp (勝華科技), one of Apple Inc’s touch-panel suppliers, yesterday said it has signed an agreement with HannsTouch Solution Inc (和鑫光電) to supply touch sensors in an effort to expand its touch-panel capacities for rapidly growing demand from notebook computers and Ultrabooks.
Earlier this year, Wintek said it was seeking partners to expand capacities of its one-glass-solution (OGS) touch panels by a double-digit percent this year from last year. The Taichung-based company considered the OGS touch screens a better substitute for expensive in-cell touch panels because of lower cost.
“HannsTouch’s supply of touch sensor [modules] will help us win more OGS orders from Ultrabooks and notebooks [segments],” Wintek spokesman Jay Huang (黃忠傑) said in a statement filed to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
“We believe the collaboration will create a supplemental effect. We do not have to invest in building a new and expensive upstream [glass substrate] production line, nor take the risk of oversupply,” Huang said by telephone.
HannsTouch would manufacture touch-sensor modules at its special 5.3-generation factory at an optimal cost for laptop panels, compared with fourth-generation, or 4.5-generation, factories used by rivals to make laptop touch panels, Huang said.
“We expect the cooperation will help boost the penetration rate of OGS and increase businesses for both companies,” he said.
To cope with growing touch- panel demand from Ultrabooks, laptops and tablets as touch feature will be the best selling points of Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 system, Wintek is also aggressively expanding capacities at its factories in China and Vietnam this year.
Wintek said growth of OGS touch panels has accelerated. The growth in OGS touch panels have helped lifted Wintek’s revenue by more than 60 percent last month to NT$8.39 billion (US$280 million) from NT$5.22 billion in June.
The new touch screens are expected to make up a 25 percent share of the company’s total revenues this quarter, up from a 13 percent share in the second quarter when Wintek first shipped the product.
Wintek’s partnership with HannsTouch would also include touch panel-related technologies, patents and market expansion, according to the statement.
Wintek shares rallied 2.87 percent to NT$14.35 yesterday, while HannsTouch inched up 0.91 percent to NT$11.05, both outperforming the TAIEX’s 0.33 percent gain.