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Apple spurs touch-screen technology growth

March 28, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • Apple's third-generation iPad.
Apple's third-generation iPad. (Nathan Olivarez-Giles/Los…)

The fervor over iPhones, iPads and other tablets and smartphones has stoked the market for all that makes people want to get their hands on them.

With shipments of touch-screen displays booming, the market for touch-controller integrated circuits has nearly tripled during the past five years and is projected to continue growing, according to IHS iSuppli. If demand continues to grow at this rate, shipments are projected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2015, up from 865 million two years ago, IHS reports.

Guess who's to thank for their booming popularity?

“Apple almost single-handedly ignited the market for touch in 2007 when it introduced the iPhone, which featured a multi-touch screen based on a projected capacitive touch technology," said Randy Lawson, principal analyst for display and consumer electronics at IHS. "Since the appearance of the iPhone, many other smartphone manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon by deploying sophisticated touch sensors for their products.”

At this point, touch screens are expected to continue to drive the market for these integrated circuits, according to IHS. They made up more than half of the market for touch technology in 2011 and will remain the dominant use ahead of other touch-sensor tech such as infrared and optical.

Touch technology isn't just on your smartphone or tablet these days. It can also be in your car, in your TV, on your all-in-one PC, on your e-reader or gaming device.

This year, the number of devices including some manner of integrated circuits for touch technology is expected to reach just over 1 billion units, almost double what it was a couple years ago, IHS said.


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