Digitimes reports that the adoption of new touch-sensor systems in both the iPhone 5 and iPad has caused a notable shift in the supply chain of the touch panel market, according to research carried out by the firm DisplaySearch.
Displays with in-cell touch are expected to rise from 7.3% of mobile phone shipments in 2012 to 13.7% in 2013, while shipments of GG DITO (double-sided ITO glass) structure are expected to decline from 10.3% to 0.6%. For tablets, shipments of GF2 sensor structure are expected to rise from 4.7% in 2012 to 28.4% in 2013, while shipments of GG DITO structure decline from 37.2% to 8.1%.
Calvin Hseih, research director at DisplaySearch, notes that Apple has been primarily responsible for this shift, despite the massive number of touchscreen devices already on the market. Apple's shift from a GG type touch-sensor system (glass on glass) to in-cell touch technology and GF2 (whereby the second layer of glass is replaced by an optical film) has rapidly influenced the entire supply chain
Apple switched from GG to in-cell touch technology with the iPhone 5 release back in September 2012 and the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad also feature GF2 technology. Another report by Digitimes reiterates previous rumors that the upcoming fifth-generation iPad, which is slated to be released sometime in Q4 2013, will feature GF2 touch technology.
That technology will allow the new iPad to be thinner and lighter than previous models, with the technology being supplied by TPK and GIS. The fifth-generation iPad has been rumored and shown in leaked parts to be significantly smaller and thinner than the current iPad, taking design cues from the iPad mini.