4 in 10 People Won't Have Buttons In Five Years

HotHardware has no idea if the mid-eighties Michael Jackson look of having zippers all over your clothes is going to make a comeback. We were referring to your cellular phone handset. According to Mei-Hui Tsai, president of Empia Technology, touch panels are becoming a very hot component right now, and it's leading to shortages in production capacity for items that use them. And the demand is only going to grow.

Currently, handsets equipped with touch panels only account for 3% of the total handset market. However, the number should increase to 40% within five years, pointed out Tsai.

Capacitive touch panels, as used in the iPhone, represent the newest technology, while mature four wire resistive touch panels have the highest demand, noted Tsai.

The relatively few capacitive touch panel suppliers in the market, added to the fact that the technology currently cannot support handwriting recognition, and dropping prices for resistive touch panels, mean that capacitive touch panels will still see difficulty competing with resistive touch panels over price, added Tsai.

So Apple iPhones will popularize the idea of the touchpad, command a premium price for their cutting edge item from a dedicated niche group, while more inexpensive versions of the same thing run wild in the marketplace. Sounds like business as usual.
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