This should be good news for Microsoft: shipments of touch screen notebooks are expected to reach 7 to 7.5 million units in 3Q13, up nearly 50 to 60 percent compared to the 4.2 to 4.5 million units shipped in 2Q13. This estimated shipment number is expected to keep the penetration rate of touch screen notebooks at around 10 percent, and will likely jump up to 13 percent by the end of the year.
What will supposedly drive this touch-based increase are models of around 11.6 inches with price points hovering between $400 and $450 USD. ODMs are also expected to increase the number of 14 and 15.6 inch models during that quarter -- these are expected to hold nearly a 70 percent market share later this year.
One of the ODMs pushing the touch screen-based notebook momentum in 2013 is Lenovo. The company is reportedly making touch screen notebooks a major focus in the second half of 2013, and plans to announce its mass production target during a supply chain conference in Hafei, China on Monday.
Suppliers claim that Lenovo is mainly adopting glass film film-type (GFF-based) touch panels that will be supplied by China-based O-Film, Taiwan-based Youngfast, Jtouch and Mutto Optronics. GFF-type touch panels have a lower cost than OGS-type panels (One-Glass-Solution) and reportedly a more stable supply chain. But they're thicker, meaning many ODMs will adopt OGS panels for their solutions instead.
Last week IHS predicted that worldwide shipments of touch-screen panels are set to double from 2012 to 2016, reaching nearly 3 billion units. A total of 2.8 billion touch-screen panels will ship in 2016 alone, up from 1.3 billion units in 2012. Shipments in 2013 will surge 34 percent to reach 1.8 billion units, the firm said.
Even more, global shipments of touch-screen notebooks will rise to 78 million units in 2016, up from just 4.6 million in 2012. By 2016, notebooks will account for 12.3 percent of global touch-screen shipments by area, up from less than 2 percent in 2012.
"The notebook represents the key near-term growth generator for touch-screen displays," said Duke Yi, senior manager for display components and materials research at IHS.