It’s no secret that touchscreen devices have become increasingly popular in recent years. Statistics show that manufacturers now ship over 1 billion touchscreen devices annually. While different manufacturers use different technologies in their respective devices, most rely on either resistive or capacitive touchscreen technology. So, which one of these touchscreen technologies is more common?

The Rise of Resistive Touchscreens

In the past, resistive touchscreens were more common than capacitive touchscreens. According to one report, over nine in 10 of all touchscreens devices shipped in 2007 were resistive, whereas just 4% were capacitive. As a result, it’s safe to assume that resistive was the dominant touchscreen technology in the past.

The Rise of Capacitive Touchscreens

Resistive is no longer the leading form of touchscreen technology. While many manufacturers continue to produce and sell resistive touchscreens, most have since switched to capacitive technology. In 2013, for example, 90% of all touchscreen devices shipped were capacitive. In more recent years, the percentage of capacitive touchscreen devices shipped has increased even higher

Are Resistive Touchscreens Obsolete?

With so many manufacturers focusing their operations on capacitive touchscreens, you might be wondering whether resistive touchscreens are obsolete. Resistive touchscreens, however, are not obsolete. They still offer several unique benefits that aren’t found in other types of touchscreens, including capacitive touchscreens.

Reasons to Choose a Resistive Touchscreen

For outdoor applications — as well as other applications in harsh environments — there’s no substitution for resistive touchscreen technology. Resistive touchscreens are able to withstand moisture and extreme temperatures better than their capacitive counterparts. As a result, many business owners prefer resistive touchscreens for outdoor usage.

Furthermore, resistive touchscreens can be controlled using a bare finger, a gloved finger or a stylus. The same can’t be said for capacitive touchscreens, which typically only work with a gloved finger. If you try to use a gloved finger or stylus with a capacitive touchscreen, it won’t register your command. This is because capacitive touchscreens require the use of a conductive object, such as a bare finger, to operate.

Another reason to consider resistive touchscreen technology over capacitive is because it promotes higher input accuracy. With resistive touchscreens, accidental taps and touches are less likely to occur, thereby lowering the risk of erroneous input commands.

To recap, resistive touchscreens used to be more popular than capacitive touchscreens, but that’s no longer the case. Statistics show over 90% of all touchscreens shipped are capacitive. Of course, resistive touchscreens are still useful for certain applications, so don’t assume that a capacitive touchscreen is the right choice.