Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/01/2014 -- In the GFF field, many vendors, especially the ones in Mainland China, conducted expansion aggressively in 2012, but had to trigger a price war to seize customers in 2013. As a result, some vendors witnessed a significant decline in revenue, even the winners also paid a heavy price. The high-profit era of touch screens was gone for ever.
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The Mainland Chinese vendor SHENZHEN O-FILM TECH won the crown of laurels in the GFF field, but its gross margin fell by about 4%. The revenue of South Korean company MELFAS violently surged by 322% year on year, while its operating margin plummeted from 8.6% to 0.04% in 2013. MELFAS has expressly claimed its exit from some low-margin areas in 2014, which means that its revenue is expected to drop sharply.
The vendors who focused on laptop touch screens felt frustrated because the demand for touch screen laptops was severely lower than expected. TPK is the most typical example. Owing to the insufficient demand, F-TPK turned to invest in Cando in order to save costs and expenses; on November 4, 2013, it announced the halt of Hsinchu Plant’s 3.5-generation line and 4.5-generation line; in late November, F-TPK also stopped the production of its subsidiary G&P Optical Solutions(Xiamen) Inc.
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The upstream metal mesh industry chain is grasped by minority vendors including Fujifilm and Mitsubishi; moreover, it requires new equipment, so the initial cost is quite high. YOUNG FAST, SHENZHEN O-FILM TECH and J-Touch prefer Metal Mesh, and J-Touch targeting medium and large-sized fields makes the quickest progress.
The biggest advantage of AgNW lies in the small-scale transformation of touch sensor production equipment instead of buying new equipment. However, due to its high resistance and poor light transmission, it is not appropriate for the medium-sized field for the time being, but very suitable for the small-sized field which has lower requirements on quality. It is reported that TPK’s SNW has got the order from Apple iwatch for touch screens.
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Few softwares make optimal design for Windows 8 Modern UI touch, and users can see the touch function mostly from Windows boot screen and photo / video zoom, while the most commonly used MS Office, browsers and other softwares do not need touch function. Therefore, touch laptop buyers feel sort of disappointed. The less useful the touch function becomes, the less consumers will pay, and the smaller the touch laptop market will be.
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