Taipei, Thursday, October 8, 2015 05:39 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Digitimes Research: ITO film price drop to slow metal mesh penetration in mid-size touch applications
Jason Yang, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Tuesday 15 April 2014]

Metal mesh technology has entered mass production at some China-based touch panel makers, such as O-film, since the second half of 2013. It helped O-film become the largest notebook touch panel supplier in the world in the fourth quarter of 2013, thanks to its pricing advantages. Lenovo was one of the early adopters of metal mesh touch panels for its notebooks.

Following its sucess in the notebook market, O-film is looking to expand into the 8- to 10-inch medium-size segment in 2014. But Digitimes Research believes the metal mesh sector will have to step up efforts defending its stronghold at the 13- to 15.6-inch segment against traditional GFF applications starting from the second quarter of 2014, as ITO films' pricing has been dropping and resistance issues have also been improving.

ITO film's high resistance has prevented GFF touch panels from entering the 13-inch and above segment, while costs of OGS touch panels are too high.

The major drawback of metal mesh touch panels is that users are able to see the internal touch sensor on screen, but such an issue is not much of a problem for larger-size applications and therefore the technology has been considered the most suitable solution for large-size applications, such as touchscreen notebooks and all-in-one PCs.

China-based makers, such as O-film, started mass producing related touch panels in the second half of 2013 and have been gradually expanding their shares in the notebook touch panel market. However, Taiwan players, such as TPK, which originally expected demand for OGS-based notebook touch panels to pick up, have suffered losses and reduced the related capacity to minimize the damage.

Having resolved the problem with touch sensor visibility of metal mesh technology, O-film is looking to expand into the 8- to 10-inch tablet touch panel market in 2014 and enter Samsung Electronics' supply chain. However, initially, O-film will mainly supply touch panels for Intel-based white-box tablets.

Meanwhile, Japan-based Fujifilm has been reducing the price of its metal mesh touch sensors, which are shipped mainly to touch panel makers, such as Taiwan-based Young Fast and China-based Eely, for their production catering to first-tier vendors including NEC and Dell. In the future, the Japan-based maker may become a strong competitor of O-film vying for Samsung's orders.

ITO film makers, such as Japan-based Nitto Denko, have cut their ITO film prices down from an average of CNY300 per square meter originally to only CNY200 recently, with films' resistance values having also been reduced from 150-200Ohm/square to 100Ohm/square. The improvements have enabled ITO films specifically for 13- to 15.6-inch notebook touch panels and the films are already available in the market.

Although GFF technology is still unable to match metal mesh technology in the 13- to 15.6-inch large-size touch panel segment in terms of material costs, limited metal mesh-based touch panel supplies and GFF technology's high yield rate thanks to its relatively mature manufacturing process may turn some downstream vendors to adopt GFF technology instead.

For the medium-size segment, where ITO films' resistance is almost not an issue, GFF technology has advantages over metal mesh technology in terms of material costs, hindering metal mesh's expansion into the medium-size segment.

Content from this blog post was provided by the Digitimes Research Tracking team, which focuses on shipment data and market trends in the global mobile device supply chain. Digitimes Research provides quarterly tracking services for market sectors such as Global Tablet, China Smartphone, China Smartphone AP, China Touch Panel, Taiwan ICT and Taiwan FPD. Click here for more information about Digitimes Research Tracking services.

Topics: Page 2

Realtime news
  • Yageo, Chilisin report increased September revenues

    Bits + chips - Stockwatch | 7h 21min ago

  • Taiwan LCD driver IC firms look to post more than 10% revenue decreases in 4Q15

    Bits + chips | 7h 22min ago

  • Macronix, Winbond post flat September revenues

    Bits + chips - Stockwatch | 7h 23min ago

  • KYEC posts record 3Q15 revenues

    Bits + chips | 7h 24min ago

  • Inventec enjoys revenue growth in September

    IT + CE | 7h 25min ago

  • Headset maker Merry sees revenues up in September

    Mobile + telecom - Stockwatch | 8h 59min ago

  • Yen Sun to take cautious approach about Volkswagen emissions scandal

    Before Going to Press | 7h 37min ago

  • Compal to establish healthcare business unit in 2016

    Before Going to Press | 7h 39min ago

  • PCB maker Compeq sees revenues reach new high in September

    Before Going to Press | 7h 40min ago

  • Taiwan makers show revenue declines for 3Q15

    Before Going to Press | 7h 40min ago

  • Fingerprint sensors set to see growing adoption among Android phones

    Before Going to Press | 7h 40min ago

  • Holtek showcases 32-bit MCUs for IoT

    Before Going to Press | 7h 41min ago

  • Maanshan Electronics Expo to open on October 30

    Before Going to Press | 7h 41min ago

  • Microsoft Surface Book may bring more pressure to notebook vendors

    Before Going to Press | 9h 16min ago

  • Microsoft launches 3 Windows 10 smartphones

    Before Going to Press | 9h 17min ago

  • Taiwan market: HTC unveils mid-range Desire 728 dual-SIM

    Before Going to Press | 9h 18min ago

  • Tianma to be main supplier of panels for new Asustek notebooks

    Before Going to Press | 9h 34min ago

  • AUO announces management adjustments

    Before Going to Press | 9h 35min ago

  • GLT reports record-high revenues for 3Q15

    Before Going to Press | 9h 59min ago

  • Taiwan sees decreased September export value, says MOF

    Before Going to Press | 10h 7min ago

  • Digitimes Research: Nichia tops LED packaging firms in 1H15 revenues

    Before Going to Press | 10h 8min ago

  • Yageo, Chilisin report increased September revenues

    Before Going to Press | 10h 8min ago

  • Macronix, Winbond post flat September revenues

    Before Going to Press | 10h 9min ago

View more

The Big Fund - China's next step to becoming a global semiconductor leader

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Sep 16, 17:49

China has been solidifying its semiconductor industry policy objectives through the release of the "National IC Industry Development Guidelines" in June 2014 and "Made in China 2025" in June 2015, with one key financial support program being the National IC Industry...

Display panels for wearable devices: Market overview and forecast through 2017

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jul 23, 12:15

The wearables market is a growing focal point for many vendors and players in the display panel supply chain. This Digitimes Research Special Report looks at developments in panel applications in the wearable industry, with a specific focus on panel makers in...

Taiwan LCD TVs – 2Q 2015


Taiwan-based LCD TV makers are seeing improving shipments. Among them, Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) will have the strongest shipment growth in the second half due to procurement orders from Mexico.

Global tablet market – 2Q 2015

GLOBAL TABLET | Aug 21, 12:11

Digitimes Research saw global tablet shipments fall to 45.76 million units in second-quarter 2015, showing a 10% decrease on quarter and representing more than a 15% decrease on year.

China smartphone market and industry – 2Q 2015

CHINA SMARTPHONE | Aug 18, 15:33

Smartphone sales in China no longer show any significant momentum for growth as the fast maturing market now increasingly relies on replacement demand from existing users.

Western China Import Expo & International Investment Fair
Taiwan server shipment forecast and industry analysis, 2015
2015 global notebook demand forecast
  • 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.