Global touch panel industry output forecast to soar
Central News Agency
2014-08-29 02:52 PM
Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) The output of the global touch panel industry will grow substantially over the next three years, driven by the increasing popularity of smart wearable devices, a local industry research institute said Friday. The revenue of the industry in 2013 totaled US$31.4 billion worldwide and is expected to grow annually over the next three years at a compound rate of 12.5 percent, reaching US$43.7 billion in 2017, according to the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) under the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Smart wearable devices will take over from smartphones as the industry's main market driver, the IEK said. There is great potential in the smart wearable market, especially for devices with healthcare functions and services, as Taiwan becomes an aging society, the IEK said. Global revenues from healthcare wearable devices totaled US$860 million in 2013 and are expected to rise over the next four years at a compound annual rate of 28.1 percent to about US$3 billion in 2018, the ITRI said in a report. The Taipei-based Institute for Information Industry (III), one of the country's leading research institutes, also forecast in June that global shipments of wearable devices will pick up significantly after registering nearly 13 million units worldwide in 2013. This year, global wearable device shipments will total 34.9 million units, with 76.7 percent being bracelets and watches, the III said. It forecast that the sector's growth will continue over the next few years at a compound annual rate of 62.7 percent to reach about 145.2 million units in 2018. In April, market researcher International Data Corp. made a similar prediction, saying that global shipments of wearable computing devices are expected to triple in 2014 to over 19 million units. The growth will continue over the next few years at a compound annual rate of 78.4 percent to reach about 112 million units in 2018, the company said in a research report dated April 10. Asia will be a frontrunner, with an even higher compound annual growth rate of 33.9 percent, the institute said, citing a February forecast by BCC Research. Market research firm NPD DisplaySearch cautioned, however, that the worldwide touch module market is growing at a slower pace this year than last year because of weak demand for notebooks and all-in-one PCs. Global shipments of touch modules are forecast to increase 14 percent year-on-year to 1.721 billion units in 2014, compared with 17 percent growth posted last year, the company said in a report last week. The slowdown can be partially attributed to the sluggish demand for laptop computers and all-in-one PCs larger than 10 inches, which cost more but lack attractive form factors, said Calvin Hsieh, a research director with NPD DisplaySearch. Smartphones and tablet PCs, meanwhile, will likely remain the two major growth drivers of the touch module market, with estimated stable growth of more than 10 percent annually from 2014 to 2016, Hsieh predicted. (By James Lee)
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