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How small and medium-sized manufacturers stand up as touch technology continues to change
Release time:2023-03-24

Apple's Force Touch technology can distinguish between tap and deep pressure, allowing users to operate the phone with different forces. This pressure touch technology has been used on the latest MacBook and Apple Watch releases. This technology will trigger the global smartphone market from 2D to 3D, and set off a revolution in app services. It is reported that Apple's 4.7 inch iPhone 6s (N71) and 5.5 inch iPhone 6s Plus (N66), which will be sold as soon as this fall, will add 3D pressure suspension touch technology. However, at present, China is in a period of transition from 3G to 4G models, and the low-priced but unattainable GF will gradually disappear. Currently, the dominant players in the touch technology market are In-Cell, On-Cell, OGS, and the recently rumored return of the iPhone to the external ultra-thin GG capacitive screen.

How can small and medium-sized manufacturers establish themselves?
From 2014, when the market was generally optimistic about OGS, to the end of the year, the In-Cell market was overwhelmed, and now, with limited In-Cell production capacity, ultra-thin GG is expected to rise. The changes in touch technology are overwhelming. In addition, the era of high profits for capacitive screens has long passed, and the tremendous pressure of yield depletion, labor costs, and equipment costs has triggered a wave of closures and mergers and acquisitions in the touch industry in the past two years, indicating that the integration trend in the touch industry is increasingly evident. For the vast number of small and medium-sized manufacturers, relying solely on a single production link to compete with large manufacturers will become increasingly difficult.

On-Cell Dijing and Lide shipments surge
"Currently, JDI, Sharp, LG, and SDI are the only companies that can do In-Cell in the world, but they are all dedicated to Apple phones. Opening up In-Cell production capacity to other brands requires avoiding existing patents, opening up new production lines, and cultivating yield improvements. This requires a certain amount of time and process. Therefore, the current effective production capacity of In-Cell is actually very limited, and there is still a long way to go before In-Cell can be widely used in brands other than Apple phones."
"The only company that can truly claim to be doing In-Cell in China is BOE, because it has its own TFT factory and may be doing some research, but it is only in the stage of research and development. Most manufacturers, including Xinli, are doing the latter stage of the process." Unlike the closure of In-Cell, On-Cell is relatively easy to follow up in the domestic supply chain. "Lide and Dijing are the early and large-scale module manufacturers in China that made On-Cell. In 2014, Dijing's shipment volume was 2.5KK-3KK. In 2015, On-Cell shipments were significantly increasing, and Dijing followed customers in On Cell, with a target of 20% to 30% growth in 2015."

In Cell Capacity Arms Race
As is well known, Japan and South Korea's LGD, Sharp, SDI, and JDI are the four major manufacturers of In Cell worldwide. In addition to supplying Apple mobile phones, the four major manufacturers are also trying their best to develop a broad touch market in Chinese Mainland. In the second half of 2014, LGD announced a 5.3 inch FHD "Advanced In Cell Touch" (AIT) technology LCD display for smart phones, actively introducing customers in Chinese Mainland; Sharp will use IGZO liquid crystal technology to produce In-Cell touch panels, and can support medium size products; In 2015, SDI will upgrade 70% of its TFT-LCD production capacity from ordinary screens to In Cell screens to increase the market share of SDI's mobile phone display screens; TDI, a Taiwan subsidiary of JDI, is expanding production of In-Cell modules in Zhuhai and is expected to be put into production in Q2 2015.
Although there are currently many LTPS lines under construction worldwide, due to the high threshold of In-Cell technology, truly effective In-Cell capacity will not be formed and expanded quickly. It is expected that resource supply will continue to exceed demand in 2015.
This is also the main reason why domestic small and medium-sized terminal manufacturers are afraid to rashly follow up on In-Cell. Enterprise In-Cell is mainly controlled by Japanese and Korean manufacturers, while domestic touch control companies have been slow to follow up, which makes small and medium-sized manufacturers unable to trust the capacity of In-Cell, resulting in the dilemma of "thinking about it but not daring to go up". Among the top domestic brands, ZTE's new ZTES6Lux machine uses the JDI original In-Cell screen, which is lower than the mid tier price of 2000 yuan. It can't help but speculate that the In-Cell touch screen seems to have a trend towards becoming a standard device for mobile phones; However, it has been revealed that the Huawei Mate8, which will be released in April, may abandon the In-Cell touch screen.

OGS shipments have increased
At the same time, "Zhengxing's OGS in 2014 has a good growth compared to 2013, and will continue to grow in 2015. Some customers' mobile phone products are specialized in the Southeast Asian market, such as the Philippines, which entered 3G two years ago. In 2014, his models using OGS touch technology sold the best in the Philippines, with 4.0 inch OGS full fit products generating real revenue. The customer asked me to provide him with support on OGS in 2015."
Zhengxing's OGS should not be an exception. Today's touch control market is in Cell, On Cell, OGS, and ultra-thin GG, each with its unique advantages. However, OGS with relatively good sales and experience effects has taken a large share of GF's market in the non high-end market. Currently, a large number of terminal manufacturers using OGS screens include Xiaomi and Meizu. At the same time, they also said, "The lower price of high-definition screens has also led some small and medium-sized terminal companies to launch OGS after e-commerce to improve the user's visual experience, and OGS shipments have increased in the market."

Ultra thin GG vs. In Cell?
According to the survey, several major glass panel factories in China, such as Zhengxing, Blue Glass, Xinli, Ultrasonic, and Leibao, are all making ultra-thin GGs. "Asahi has already produced 0.23mm ultra-thin glass, and once the glass factory ships ultra-thin glass on a large scale, the market will definitely adopt it in a large amount. We conducted testing on ultra-thin GG for most of the year, and the testing results are all OK. I think this year's ultra-thin GG will be shipped on a large scale in Q3 this year."
"The experience of users transitioning from 3G to 4G is very critical. The size of new models is typically 5.0 and 5.5, and the requirement for better display performance means that they must be glass based products. At present, In/On Cell has limited production capacity and has an uncertain future. The remaining products are ultra-thin GG and OGS. One of the next trends is ultra-thin GG with 0.2mm Sensor and 0.55mm cover plate."
It is reported that F-TPK (3673. TW) and China Southern Glass Corporation (000012. SZ), the original suppliers of Apple's GG glass capacitive screens, are both stepping up the testing of ultra-thin GG glass capacitive screens for Apple's verification.
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