Taipei, Saturday, November 28, 2015 06:53 (GMT+8)
partly cloudy
Digitimes Research: On-cell touch panels unlikely to win favor in high-end smartphones in 2014
Jason Yang, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Monday 14 July 2014]

The on-cell touchscreen technology led by US-based touch control IC maker Synaptics and China-based Focaltech have accumulated total unit shipments of one million since the beginning of the technology's mass production in October 2013.

Panel makers have gradually conquered low yield problems, but Digitimes Research believes that most vendors' unwillingness to try out new technology plus difficulties to significantly reduce thickness prior to the end of 2014, will limit the technology from becoming suitable for high-end smartphones.

Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) was the earliest maker to start mass producing on-cell touch panels. Its first client was China-based CoolPad with touch control ICs supplied by Focaltech. Meanwhile, Synaptics is cooperating with Innolux to supply panels to Nokia.

Prior to the end of the first quarter 2014, only CPT had achieved shipments of one million on-cell touch panels and the volume was considered quite good an emerging technology.

HannStar started mass production of on-cell touch panels in May 2014, using color filter production lines from its subsidiary HannsTouch Solution. HannStar supplies panels to ZTE with estimated shipments of 700,000 units per month.

Although shipments are considered quite good for an emerging technology, compared to original expectations of on-cell touch panels seriously threatening traditional touch panel makers, in the second half of 2013, performance is still far from satisfactory.

Despite panel makers' improvements in management of the on-cell technology's manufacturing process, most handset vendors still have barriers towards adopting emerging technology.

More importantly, if an on-cell touch panel adopts single-layer multi-touch technology, the panel's size and resolution are both small, limiting its applications at sub-5-inch and WVGA-level products.

At the same time, pinholes on the surface of the glass can easily expand during the glass thinning process and reduce yield rates; therefore most on-cell touch panels are not being thinned.

As a result, lacking sufficient resolution and thinness, Digitimes Research estimates that on-cell touch panels are unlikely to be a match for traditional touchscreen technologies such as GFF prior to the end of 2014.

China Internet TV and OTT market developments

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Oct 21, 16:00

China's Tri-network Integration Policy has eased restrictions on the broadcasting and telecom industries in China and allowed them to offer each other's services. This has brought new competitive challenges to the local video market, especially its Internet video/TV...

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...

Global tablet market – 3Q 2015

GLOBAL TABLET | Nov 19, 18:44

Global tablet shipments reached only 50.64 million units in the third quarter, up 9% from the second quarter, but still down sharply by 18% on year.

China smartphone market and industry – 3Q 2015

CHINA SMARTPHONE | Nov 13, 15:36

In September, Digitimes Research surveyed China's smartphone supply chain. After analyzing the industry as well as relative market data, it found that in the third quarter, there were 59.8 million new 3G/4G users in China, which is higher than the average growth...

Taiwan LCD TVs - 3Q 2015


Taiwan-based makers saw significant shipment growths in the third quarter of 2015, as clients in Europe and North America prepared for the year-end shopping season.

China Internet TV and OTT market developments
2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast
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.