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Touchscreen sales set to soar

Virtual keyboards in, physical keyboards out

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Gadgets controlled through touchscreen interfaces will soon become increasingly commonplace. Market analyst iSuppli has forecast that sales of touchscreen display modules will skyrocket between now and 2013.

The analyst has predicted that the global market for touchscreen modules will grow from roughly 341m units this year, to around 833m units in 2013. As a result, the market’s global value will soar from about $3.3bn (£1.6bn/€2bn) currently, to roughly $6.4bn (£3.2bn/€4bn) by 2013.

iSuppli hasn’t said which touchscreen-enabled gadgets will prove the most popular, such as compact cameras or mobile phones. But Jennifer Colegrove, senior analyst for emerging displays at iSuppli, said that the number of touch-screen technologies has “increased from 16 distinct approaches in mid 2007 to 20 different touch-screen technologies this month”.

For example, capacitive touch panels are coated in a material that stores electrical charges and locate the point of contact by analysing where the charge is drawn to. iSuppli believes that sales of such panels will account for around 123.5m units by 2013, with a value of $1.3bn (£657m/€825m).

E-Paper could help drive sales of touchscreens, that’s if Taiwanese manufacturer Prime View International (PVI) has anything to do with it. The firm recently developed the world’s first e-reader that integrates touch-sensitivity into an e-paper screen, which it hopes will “spur demands for e-books”.

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