updated 10:55 am EST, Thu December 30, 2010
NPD: 26.3m tablet, touch netbook screens in 2010
The launch of the iPad almost single-handedly drove the rise of large touchscreens this year, the NPD Group's DisplaySearch found today. About 6.3 million touchscreens large enough for tablets and touch-aware netbooks shipped in the first half of 2010, but the rise of the iPad and relatively minor contributions from the Samsung Galaxy Tab will have boosted that number to about 20 million for the second half. Although declining to mention Apple by name, the researchers noted that key iPad supplier Wintek produced the "majority" of the large touchscreen hardware for the year.
The analyst team didn't break down shipments by platform or by manufacturer outside of these clues. Android tablets outside of Samsung still ship in far fewer numbers. The Windows tablet market was estimated at one point to be reaching 1.25 million computers in all of 2010, only some of which have screens small enough to count in the size category. Dell's Inspiron Duo was one of the few launches from a major manufacturer in the second half of the year.
Apple shipped about 7.5 million iPads in spring and summer; multiple analysts have expected it to roughly double the combined amount in the fall due to the holiday rush, leading it to represent 15 million or more of the 26.3 million total.
The numbers are likely to surge in 2011 and could lead to projected capacitive touch like that on the iPad taking over from cheaper but less precise resistive screens, most of which are made in mainland China. Microsoft's Kinect system for the Xbox 360 has also marked the first real wide-scale implementation of image based "touch" and could give it a first real footprint.