Foxconn is betting the farm on carbon nanotube touchscreens

Terry Gou’s Foxconn is working hard to promote its carbon nanotube touch panels at a conference in Shenzhen, China. 

The upside for Carbon Nanotube touch panels is that they could be able to cut costs for touch panels by up to 20 percent against the more common Indium Tin Oxide. 

Digitimes reports that a Foxconn subsidiary thinks it can produce two million units of 3.2 inch Carbon Nanotube displays each month. It told Digitimes that handset makers in China have already expressed interest in the technology.

Foxconn says it will be working on Carbon Nanotube displays for e-book readers, as well as starting the manufacturing process on cover lenses.

Bob Raikes, principal display analyst at Meko, tells TechEye: “A lot of people are working on CNT and other technologies to replace Indium Tin Oxide in touch panels, but it’s not yet clear that this technology is going to be the best one.”

A reason for plowing money into alternatives, says Raikes, is that some people think Indium is about to go into shortage. The other opinion is that the market will sort it out, he tells us.

“Indium Tin Oxide is well understood and established as a key material in display making,” Raikes continues, “but as well as potentially moving into short supply, it is not flexible and that makes it less attractive for the future.”