Date:13th June 2012
Touch screen ultrabook penetration rate
of 24.8% by 2015, predicts TrendForce
Touch Notebook (NB) with Windows 8 was the product that
was popular among all the products at 2012 Computex. Microsoft
is on the edge of launching Windows 8. Since the combination
of the touch function and the notebook are in much demand,
brands vendors are hoping to both revive NB market and ease
tablet PC's absorption of NB demand.
WitsView, the research division of TrendForce has said that
touch-screen NBs offer more intuitive surface enhancing
its ease of use; however, it is likely to take one to two
years to overcome the crucial problems of cost and practicability
prior to its popularization.
Eric Chiou, WitsView's research director indicates that
the cost of touch module is the most critical key among
numerous cost challenges. To avoid impairing the thin and
portable design of NB, the touch module follows mostly adopt
One Glass Solution as their top priority choice. Even though
OGS is not a completely new technology, 11.6" and 15.6"
NBs with OGS remain at the early stage; therefore, its production
yield rate, quality and stability, and structure of touch
controller IC have yet to be mature, leading to higher cost
inevitably. Take 13.3" as an example, the whole touch
module is projected to increase NB cost by $55~$60, which
will surely widen product street price gap by over $100
and therefore hold back some interested buyers.
In addition to pricing issue due to higher cost, practicality
directly affects consumers' purchase decisions. Despite
the fact that Microsoft has put many efforts into optimizing
touch module interface by adding Metro UI (user interface)
and shortcut gestures, most PC users rely more on third
party software than the installed operating system (OS).
Currently, the business software developers have yet to
aggressively integrate touch function and software as they
might be considering and observing the touch NB outlook.
As a result, a touch NB stays to be merely a "usable"
product so far. Eric Chiou points out that only with several
of application software matching the usage of touch functions,
can touch NB be upgraded to a "highly-usable"
product or further to a "desirable" product, leading
the product advantage to be in line with its actual sales
WitsView concludes that there is likely to be a diverse
trend between the outlook of traditional NB and emerging
Ultrabook in terms of touch embedded screen. Firstly, in
addition to the significant ease of touch integration, the
higher price of highly-portable Ultrabook allows extra cost
in improving touch specifications; thus, as cost decreased
gradually while the number of application software rises
over days, sales of touch Ultrabook are expected to surge
in 2014 with a soaring penetration rate from 3.2% in this
year to 24.8% in 2015. On the contrary, as a traditional
NB has been a price-sensitive product, a touch embedded
model will definitely increase its price and therefore brings
about difficulties in promoting touch functions. As a result,
WitsView holds conservative attitude toward the outlook
of touch-embedded NB and further forecasts the touch-embedded
ratio to be lower than 1% this year and below 10% in 2015.