Taiwanese companies expect touch panels will become a hot component in upcoming phones:
Touch panels are becoming a hot component in 2007, something which has caused shortages to be seen recently in touch panel production capacity, according to Mei-Hui Tsai (translated directly from Chinese), president of touch panel controller IC maker Empia Technology. Touch panels will become more ubiquitous among future handsets, Tsai commented.
Currently, handsets equipped with touch panels only account for 3% of the total handset market. However, the number should increase to 40% within five years, pointed out Tsai.
Capacitive touch panels, as used in the iPhone, represent the newest technology, while mature four wire resistive touch panels have the highest demand, noted Tsai.
The relatively few capacitive touch panel suppliers in the market, added to the fact that the technology currently cannot support handwriting recognition, and dropping prices for resistive touch panels, mean that capacitive touch panels will still see difficulty competing with resistive touch panels over price, added Tsai.