Taiwan firm to supply touch sensors to Samsung

Deal seen easing supply shortage for the South Korean giant's smartphones

Sintek Photronic, a Taiwan-based maker of touch panel sensors, has signed with Samsung Mobile Display a deal to help the South Korean company overcome a shortage of smartphone parts.

The two companies on Tuesday inked a technology cooperation and supply agreement, Sintek said in a statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Sintek said it would set up a 5.5-generation factory to begin mass production of the sensors in the fourth quarter of the year.

Samsung needs the sensors for phones that use its active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) touchscreen technology, said Sebastian Ho, an analyst with Yuanta Investment Consulting in Taipei. AMOLED screens are known for saving power, but they may be hard to read in the sun.

"Supply isn't meeting demand," Ho said. "They need to find a source so they can expand, and they tapped Sintek."

About 90 percent of AMOLED technology goes toward Samsung smartphones, Ho said, but other smartphone makers such as Apple and HTC are increasingly trying to get it.

Supply shortages of the displays made by Samsung have prompted some HTC handsets to go with other types, but production of the popular AMOLED-based parts is expected to increase after this year.

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Tags consumer electronicsSintek PhotronicPhonessmartphonesComponentsSamsung Mobile Displaydisplays

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