Tablet Touch Panel Shipments to Slow Next Year

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The tablet industry is only a few years old and is still growing fast. The segment has even managed to eat in to traditional PC sales, sending manufacturers scrambling for ways to make desktops and notebooks new again with features such as touchscreens.

Though the trend of touchscreen notebooks hasn't yet resonated with consumers, manufacturers are betting big on the devices. A new DigiTimes Research report today predicts that shipments of touchscreen components for notebooks are set to increase by nearly 23% during 2014, up to more than 17.7 million units.

This will take place just as touchscreen shipments for tablet devices is set to slow following the industry's explosive growth. The report predicts that tablet touch panel shipments will drop over 29% to just 51.8 million units shipped. Smartphones are predicted to hold on to their steady growth, with smartphone touch panel shipments set to increase nearly 12% to 242.7 million units.

An odd twist to these predictions is just how many of these shipments will be lower-cost capacitive film-based touch panels. DigiTimes predicts that a full 64.8% of smartphone touch panels shipped next year will be film-based, and over half of half (52.4%) of the tablet touch panels shipped next year are predicted to use the technology. The film-based touch panels will not hit notebooks in a big way next year, though, with just 1.4% of notebook touch panels predicted to be capacitive film-based.

(Image courtesy Samsung)

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