As high-end mobile devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet and Galaxy S smartphone, Apple’s iPad family or gadgets from newcomers like Acer – which is expected to ship up to 400,000 tablet PCs in the third quarter – all bring mobile computing to mainstream, the mass market is clearing way for inexpensive mobile gadgets aimed at emerging markets, folks with low income and price-conscious consumers. Increasing demand is stretching thing premium suppliers such as Wintek, which provides touch panels for Apple’s mobile devices and the upcoming Amazon tablet. In fact, Wintek’s third-quarter capacity is now booked up, reports DigiTimes. In response to demand, Wintek has won adoption of Touch on Lens technology that uses single-glass-sheet touch modules aimed at HTC, Samsung Electronics and Nokia for their entry- to mid-range smartphones, sources claim.

“Because Touch on Lens has the advantage of lower production costs, higher light transparency and shorter production time, it is expected to be adopted by many vendors of tablet PCs in the second half of 2011”, sources indicated. At the same time, small suppliers see their chance with even cheaper solutions aimed at $100 smartphones and tablets. From the likes of Elan Microelectronics, ITE Tech, Weltrend Semiconductor, Sitronix Technology, Egalax-empia Technology and ILI Technology come low-cost touch-panel solutions that – unlike high-end touch panel modules – recognize only two fingers at the same time instead of ten. This is fine for pinch-zoom and should do the trick for China and emerging markets, another DigiTimes report asserts, noting that the Amazon tablet will adopt two-finger solutions to keep the price down.

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