Windows 8 to drive touchscreen boom -

Touchscreen sales are set to boom as notebook manufacturers get to grips with Windows 8 touch optimisation. 

The growth in smartphones and tablets has typically been regarded as the main driver for touchscreen revenues. However, with the introduction of Windows 8, and combined with the forthcoming release of Intel Ultrabooks with hybrid tablet features, the range of devices featuring touch is expected to widen.

According to DisplaySearch, the market for touchscreen module revenues is set to hit $16 billion this year, before doubling to $31.9 billion in 2018. This is largely driven by smartphone, tablet and handheld console sales, such as the PS Vita. Such devices are said to account for $13.6 billion in revenues this year.

However with the imminent release of Windows 8, larger PCs are also set to make an impact on touchscreen revenues.  Microsoft has been showing off the touch features of Windows Office recently and touch capabilities are strongly suited to the Metro interface.

Along with a push from Ultrabook vendors to kit a new range of devices out with touchscreens, this is expected to see touch on notebooks jump fourfold from two percent in 2012 to eight percent next year.

This would be good news for Intel, which has so far been struggling to meet the expectations it set itself for the ultrathin devices. The company seems confident touch will increase demand for the devices.

Intel has been taking no chances and has been investing in its touchscreen supply chain, signing deals with the likes of Wintek and HannTouch to ensure that it is ready to meet demand.

In addition to notebooks, the growth in all in one PCs, which already often feature touch, is likely to help boost module revenues.  Automotive applications are also set to rise.