Outlook good for North American keyboard, keypad market


North American market for keyboards and keypads is expected to grow 5-7% annually, according to a recent Venture Development Corp . (VDC) study. The market has seemingly recovered from its 2001-2003 contraction, says the report, and all product segments studied are expected to show positive growth throughout the forecast period.


North American keyboard and keypad market is expected to grow from $1.88 billion in 2004 to $2.45 billion by 2008. (Illustration and data courtesy of VDC Corp.)

Projected North American consumption of keyboards and keypads shows the overall market moving from $1.88 billion in 2004 to $2.45 billion by 2008. Product areas expected to exhibit the highest growth include flat panel keyboards and keypads, membrane-switch keyboards and keypads, rugged keyboards and keypads, and foldable keyboards for PDAs.


In flat panel devices, the trend is toward thinner products. Strong growth in consumption of these products for industrial controls is anticipated. Demand for units with higher resistance to harsh environments and more applications requiring rugged designs are driving the membrane and rugged keyboard/keypad areas. Consumption of membrane switch units is influenced by their ability to be easily sealed. The trend toward miniaturization for mobile and handheld products is affecting the growth of foldable keyboards for PDAs.


“The picture of the North American market for keyboards and keypads looks much more optimistic today than it did 2-3 years ago,” said Shan shan Chu, industry analyst at VDC. “Although the industry has reached a certain level of maturity, rising demand for durable and well-designed products in several key market segments will fuel continued positive growth in this market.” Click here to read more about this study.

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering,

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