Taipei, Tuesday, September 27, 2016 08:36 (GMT+8)
thunderstorms
Taipei
30°C
Digitimes Research: On-cell touch panels not as popular as expected
Jason Yang, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Friday 28 March 2014]

On-cell touch panels were once expected to be the solution with the best development potentials in China's entry-level to mid-range smartphone sector, but so far, the number of mobile devices using on-cell touch and their shipments have been far below the original expectations.

Digitimes Research identifies two major issues with on-cell touch panels. User experience with its single-layer multi-touch technology is unsatisfactory. Difficulties in putting dual-layer ITO sensors on the back of the color filter extend the time needed to complete a project.

ITO film prices have recently dropped, helping reduce the overall production costs of dual ITO film-based GFF touch panels. This has prompted China smartphone vendors to turn to the technology their products, causing the TFT LCD-based on-cell segment to see a slower-than-expected development.

By integrating a display with a touch panel, on-cell technology has simplified related supply chain players' production, helping lower the costs as well as reduce handsets' weight and thickness. However, since the electromagnetic wave of the TFT LCD is prone to interfere with transmission, on-cell touch is usually adopted in mid-range or entry-level mobile devices which have lower display pixel densities.

Taiwan-based Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) started mass producing on-cell touch panels in September 2013 and is supplying them to China-based CoolPad, while Taiwan-based Innolux and China-based Tianma have also recently started their mass production of such touch panels. Taiwan-based HannStar and China-based BOE have yet to start mass production for on-cell touch panels, and have just sent samples to its clients.

However, makers that have already started mass production are only shipping 100,000-200,000 on-cell touch panels per month and have yet to see the staggering growth they had expected. Digitimes Research believes that the slow growth is a result of several vendors such as ZTE delaying their projects using on-cell touch panels. Some touch module makers have canceled their orders for on-cell touch panel makers and adopted GFF touch instead.

On-cell touch technology still has several basic issues. The weak sensitivity of its original single-layer multi-touch technology. CPT has conquered it by using the dual-layer sensor technology, but the yield rate for this process is low, resulting in supply constraints.

LCD panel's electromagnetic wave interference issue can be resolved by adopting the full lamination process; however, adopting such a process has greatly raised the touch module's overall costs, making on-cell touch panels less competitive in terms of pricing. Currently, the quote for an on-cell touch panel is US$7 higher than a same-size standard TFT LCD panel, which is slightly more expensive than other solutions.

ITO film's recent average selling price (ASP) has dropped from CNY300 to around CNY200 per square meter and the fact that players other than Japan-based Nitto Denko are offering their ITO films at only CNY180, have greatly reduced overall production costs of GFF touch panels, which is restraining on-cell touch panels' shipment growth.

For on-cell touch technology to become popular, in addition to improving on-cell touch panels' yield rates and overall production capacity, panel makers will also need to find ways to eliminate electromagnetic wave interference without using full lamination. Developments of controller ICs should also focus on how to deal with air layers. Such improvements will be vital to on-cell touch technology's stable development.

Realtime news
  • Rising notebook demand causing shortages in many components

    IT + CE | 9h 56min ago

  • Taiwan 2Q16 TFT-LCD production value up on quarter, down on year, says PIDA

    Displays | 10h 19min ago

  • Typhoon to close markets and offices in Taipei

    Before Going to Press | 9h 58min ago

  • China aims at production value of CNY500 billion for smart hardware in 2018, says MIIT

    Before Going to Press | 10h 32min ago

  • Nearly eight million embedded eMemory silicon IP wafers employed in TSMC processes

    Before Going to Press | 10h 33min ago

  • BeiDou Navigation Satellite System to provide global positioning services in 2020

    Before Going to Press | 10h 34min ago

  • Epistar, Epileds Technologies see booming orders for IR LED chips

    Before Going to Press | 10h 35min ago

  • Micron CEO visits Taiwan to meet Formosa executives

    Before Going to Press | 10h 35min ago

  • Chunghwa Telecom in close cooperation with Ericsson, says president

    Before Going to Press | 10h 37min ago

  • National Cheng Kung University, AIDC to cooperate to make condenser for use in AMS-02 detector

    Before Going to Press | 10h 37min ago

  • Lithium battery makers demand price rise due to shortages

    Before Going to Press | 10h 41min ago

  • Taiwan market: Xiaomi Technology to launch Hong-Mi Note 4

    Before Going to Press | 10h 42min ago

  • Chilisin signs NT$3.5 billion syndicated loan

    Before Going to Press | 10h 43min ago

  • Kenmec secures more than NT$3 billion worth of automation equipment orders, says report

    Before Going to Press | 10h 44min ago

  • Digitimes Research: Global average LTE-based data transfer speed barely rising

    Before Going to Press | 10h 45min ago

  • GE exiting Asia and Latin America angering distributors of local lighting products

    Before Going to Press | 10h 47min ago

Pause
 | 
View more
China smartphone touch-panel industry 2016 forecast
Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets
Analysis of China revised domestic semiconductor industry goals
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.