Touch panel makers face changes and challenges in 2012

August 6, 2012 – BUSINESS WIRE — The touch panel display industry is up against low profit margins and increased competition for business, as well as new touch sensor technologies on the scene in 2012, according to a report offered by Research and Markets.

Squeezed by counterparts from South Korea, the Japanese LCD industry has witnessed a dramatic decline for the past few years, despite attempts from the government to save it. The momentous event of the small and medium-sized display industry in 2011 was the merging of Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony, Japan’s three leading TFT-LCD manufacturers, into one businesss named Japan Display, which went into formal operation in April 2012. In the future, Panasonic’s TFT-LCD business is likely to be incorporated into the company.

For most touch panel manufacturers, 2011 to 2012 is bad to worse. In H2 2011, capacitive touch panel capacity was largely put into production, accompanied by plunged prices. All touch panel makers except TPK and Wintek all showed declines in revenue. Entering 2012, the situation became worse, with small and medium-sized manufacturers in Taiwan seeing capacity between 20 and 40%. Even Wintek, Apple’s main supplier, had gross margin below 1% in Q4 2011– many peers went negative.

Also read: Touchscreen trends: New touch technologies growing and application trends

In 2012, the touch panel industry’s patterning is changing. On-cell and in-cell technologies are presenting a challenge to traditional manufacturers. On-cell touch sensors are mainly used in AMOLED displays.

Research and Markets added the report "Global and Chinese Touch Panel (Including Small- and Medium-sized Display) Industry Report, 2011-2012" to their offering.

Companies mentioned in the report: AUO, AimCore Technology, CPT, Cando, Chimei Innolux, Digitech Systems, EELY, ELK, G-tech Optoelectronics, GiantPlus, HannStar, Hannstouch, ILJIN Display, JTOUCH, Japan Display, LG Display, Lintek, Melfas, Mildex, Mutto Optronics, NISSHA Printing, SMAC, SMD, Sharp, Shenzhen Laibao Hi-tech, Shenzhen Lens, Shenzhen O-Film Tech, TPK, Tianma Micro-electronics, Transtouch Technology, Truly International, Wuhu Token Sciences, and Young Fast.

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