Shipments of touch screens for tablet computers are predicted to reach 60 million units in 2011 according to a recent report from DisplaySearch.

To no one's surprise, the research firm predicts Apple will continue to be biggest buyer of tablet PC touch screens sold this year and next but does expect its share to fall below 50% in 2013 and beyond.

“Tablet PCs are the fastest growing application for touch screens,” noted Jennifer Colegrove, VP at DisplaySearch. “Most tablet PC products will leverage multi-touch projected capacitive technology, following Apple’s lead. At the same time, a small amount of tablet PCs are using resistive touch, since it is less expense and enables handwriting recognition. There are also some tablet PCs that use digitizers for handwriting recognition and drawing.”

DisplaySearch forecasts total touch panels for tablet PCs to reach 260M units in 2016, up 333% from 2011.

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