Upstream touch panel makers are increasing their focus to business opportunities in the wearables segment as the tablet market is showing less-than-expected growth.
The tablet market is slowing down and pricing is becoming more competitive, which has resulted in less profits for both Taiwan- and China-based touch panel makers. The tablet segment is expected to show limited growth in 2014 and will also face challenges from larger-size smartphones.
Amid this trend, makers such as JTouch, Wintek, and Truly Optoelectronics are turning to the wearables segment, where orders for products sized 1.6-inch from both China and international vendors are increasing. Some China makers meanwhile reportedly have more than 10 different projects they are working on.
Related supply chains began shipping components in the second quarter and shipments are expected to increase throughout the year. Demand for wearables in the China market is expected to remain steady in 2014 into 2015.
Meanwhile, chariman of China touch panel maker Jiangxi Holitech Technology recently said that he believes wearables will also push development of the flexible display industry, with smartwatches and bracelets at the forefront.