Driven by falling prices and a major initiative from Intel, shipments of touch-enabled mobile PCs are expected to enjoy rapid growth in 2013 and the coming years, rising to about 25 percent of all notebooks by 2016.
Global shipments of touchscreen-equipped notebook PCs will rise to 78 million units in 2016, up from just 4.6 million in 2012, according to research firm IHS.
By 2016, touch notebooks will represent 24.6 percent of all global PC notebook shipments. This year is expected to represent a major threshold for market growth, with shipments expected to surge to 24 million, up more than 400 percent ? the highest rate of growth the market is anticipated to achieve for the next four years.
The year 2013 will be a banner year for touch notebooks because prices for low-end 14-inch capacitive touchscreen display panels fall to $35 ? down dramatically from $60 to $70 in 2012. The $35 price will help spur widespread market acceptance, enabling the production of more affordable touchscreen mobile PCs.
This pricing breakthrough, combined with Intel?s supply-chain muscle, will boost market growth this year and beyond.
?Touch displays are reinventing the PC market and there is a substantial growth opportunity in this area,? said Zane Ball, Intel vice president and general manager.
?At Intel, we have adopted a strategy that touch should be everywhere. We believe that as touch moves into the PC space, it will be a transformative product and will unlock new demand.?
Ball said that new mobile PC designs based on the company?s new Haswell processor are well underway in 2013. These designs combine touchscreen displays with innovative form factors.
In addition to Haswell, Intel is taking steps to ensure the stable supply of inexpensive touchscreens. The company also had to do some evangelizing to convince sometimes doubtful members of PC supply chain of the merits of touchscreen technology.
?We?re glad we?ve made this investment because now there?s little doubt there?s demand for touch in any number of PC form factors,? Ball said.
Ball noted that Intel?s touch ambitions are much larger than the mobile PC space. He outlined Intel?s vision for touch-enabled all-in-one PCs, including devices that are portable and battery powered.