Sales of tablet PCs will reach the 60 million mark in 2011 and Apple will account for the vast majority of them, according to DisplaySearch.
This means that Apple will also be the largest player in the touchscreen market, with the vast majority of those being produced ending up in products such as the iPod touch, the iPhone and the iPad.
“Tablet PCs are the fastest growing application for touch screens,” noted Jennifer Colegrove PhD, vice president of Emerging Display Technologies for DisplaySearch.
However, a small proportion of the touchscreen market would be outside of the Apple ecosystem, including those that don’t use capacitive technology.
“Most tablet PC products will leverage multi-touch projected capacitive technology, following Apple’s lead. At the same time, a small amount of tablet PCs are using resistive touch, since it is less expensive and enables handwriting recognition. There are also some tablet PCs that use digitizers for handwriting recognition and drawing,” Colegrove said.
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However, while Apple’s dominance of the touchscreen market will continue in 2011 and 2012, DisplaySearch said that other vendors would soon catch up. By 2016, according to the company’s predictions, Apple will control less than half of the market, though would still produce more than 100 million touchscreen devices in that year.
DisplaySearch also said that the touchscreen market was evolving in different ways in different regions. In Taiwan, manufacturing capacity for touchscreens is rapidly expanding, whereas in Japan the strength of the Yen is resulting in suppliers being unable to grow quickly.