Shipments of touch screens are set to rise by nearly 5,000 per cent in 2010, thanks to manufacturers' desire to produce iPad-alikes, according to research produced by iSuppli.
The screen counters expect 8.9 million touchscreens to ship in 2010, up from just 176,000 in 2009.
iSuppli predicts the trend will continue into 2013 when it expects some 63.9 million units to ship.
"The rising popularity of slates is setting off a conflagration in touch screen technology, firing up not only the long-dormant tablet computer market but also all-in-one PCs, desktops and monitors," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitors and sustainability displays for iSuppli.
Touch screen demand has been growing in the PC market in recent years, increasing at a rate of more than 26 per cent in 2008 and 52 per cent in 2009.
But iSuppli expects to see a 242 per cent boost in shipments of touch screens for full-size PCs this year.
"Challenging Apple's lead will take more than offering a less expensive alternative," Alexander said. "Tomorrow's market leader will need a mix of superior industrial design, compelling applications and an expanded touch interface, all delivered in an ever-more affordable package. However, competitors are gearing up for a fight, as demonstrated by Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) recent acquisition of Palm, Google's acquisition of BumpTop, and the acquisition by Amazon of TouchCo."
Netbooks, notebooks, monitors and all-in-one computers, are all going touch,iSuppli reckons "And although early favorites in the touch technologies are emerging, the field remains wide open. Today's market leaders in the personal computing space are recent entrants to the touch environment and are still vulnerable to established alternatives and technologies just now emerging onto the market," Alexander reckons.
"The revolution has officially begun, and mice may soon be headed the way of dinosaur."