Touch Panel Demand Soars; 2011 Revenues to Grow by 90% Y-Y
In the recently released Touch Panel Market Analysis , DisplaySearch reported that total touch screen module revenue will reach $13.4 billion in 2011, and nearly double in six years, reaching $23.9 billion by 2017.
“Touch screen penetration has rapidly increased in mobile phones, handheld games, game consoles, and tablet PC applications, which collectively will account for more than $10.5 billion in touch screen revenues this year,” noted Jennifer Colegrove , PhD, Vice President of Emerging Display Technologies at DisplaySearch.“In addition, we see strong touch screen growth over the next several years driven by demand in larger display applications such as all-in-one PCs, notebook PCs, and consumer gaming.”
Figure 1: Touch Screen Module Revenue Forecast
Source: DisplaySearch 2011 Touch Panel Market Analysis 
Projected Capacitive Increasingly Becoming the Dominant Touch Technology
As DisplaySearch previously forecasted, projected capacitive became the leading touch screen technology in terms of revenue in 2010. Projected capacitive growth has been explosive since being popularized by Apple in 2007, and many tablet PCs manufacturers have adopted it. In 2011, projected capacitive shipments are expected to grow by more than 100% Y/Y, and will account for 70% of all touch screen revenues. In addition to dedicated touch screen suppliers moving into projected capacitive, several color filter suppliers and LCD manufacturers have converted lines to produce it. In fact, over 60 companies are supplying projected capacitive in 2011.
Shipments for in-cell touch, which first came to market in 2009, didn’t materialize in 2010. However, in-cell touch is expected to take off in 2012 as yield rates improve. On-cell touch, meanwhile, has seen greater adoption, but the mix has shifted to smaller screen sizes used in mobile phones and digital still cameras, whereas it has had difficulty competing with projected capacitive in tablet PC applications. Other touch technologies are experiencing market growth, such as combination-type touch panels which offer both pen and finger touch.
Mobile Phone Still the Leading Application, Tablet PCs Gaining Share in 2011
Mobile phones are the major application for touch screens in terms of unit shipments, accounting for two-thirds of units shipped in 2010. DisplaySearch forecasts that 868 million touch screens will ship for mobile phone applications in 2011, up 68% Y/Y.
The tablet PC represents a fast-growing application for touch screens, accounting for 26 million units in 2010. Growth continues to be strong, with DisplaySearch forecasting over 72 million touch screens for tablet PCs in 2011, and over 100 million in 2012. Revenues for projected capacitive touch screens in tablet PCs are expected to grow by more than $1 billion in 2011.
Touch penetration is increasing in consumer gaming devices, including consoles such as Microsoft Kinect, as well as handheld games such as the Nintendo 3DS. Over the next few years, notebook and all-in-one PCs as well as automobile monitors are expected to contribute to touch screen market growth as well. Touch technologies with high transmittance, low power consumption, multi-touch or gesture recognition will benefit the most.
The DisplaySearch Touch Panel Market Analysis  report is a comprehensive analysis of the touch panel technologies and their market forecasts through 2017. This report has a detailed breakdown of 22 applications (with tablet PCs application) with 11 touch technology categories and nine size categories. It also has details on touch controller ICs, the sensor market, and an area and multi-touch forecast through 2017.
DisplaySearch surveyed over 190 suppliers of touch screen modules, controller ICs, ITO film, and other components to produce the 2011 Touch Panel Market Analysis  report. These firms are profiled in the report, along with 2010 history, shipments, and revenues for over 100 touch screen suppliers.