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The global tactile switches market size was valued at USD 6.36 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 6.59 billion in 2022 to USD 9.35 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. Asia Pacific dominated the global market with a share of 41.66% in 2021.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with tactile switches experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 6.1% in 2020 compared to 2019.
Switches are the foundation on which all electronic gadgets work. Comprising at least two conductive ways, they are intended to control a circuit. Whenever a switch is actuated, its circuit will open or close. All switches work by controlling a circuit and various kinds of switches, including tactile.
These switches are installed in an electrical circuit and are activated when force is applied to the device, giving the user a recognizable “click” or knock in response, allowing the current flow in the circuit. The current flow is discontinued when the pressure applied to the switch is released. A tactile switch is a momentary action device whose operation is recognizable by contact. This switch produces a physical sensation in response to its completed circuit. Models of such switches break the circuit and disrupt the flow of current when the switch is deactivated and reactivates when released. Therefore, such products are also in high demand in the market.
Disruptions in Supply Chain amid COVID-19 Pandemic to Hamper Market Growth
The crisis evolved by the outburst of this global infection problem has affected every country in an odd situation. Financing new projects has emerged as a major challenge as the nations have observed significant economic downturns. Additionally, the revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the same period of 2019 for the key players operating in the market primarily resulted from decreased service and crew utilization. Accordingly, the electrical & electronics sector, which includes these types of switches, has been immediately affected by this global health problem outbreak. Delay in shipping raw materials, changes in customers' behavior, and increased cases of counterfeit tricking were some factors that impacted the electronics industry business.
The manufacturers involved in the electronics industry have gone through a shipment suspension from five to eight weeks from the suppliers due to the pandemic's impact. This data is associated with a survey carried out by IPC, a global manufacturing association. The survey also highlights the negative effects on manufacturers due to extended delays from leading suppliers such as China. Counterfeit factors have a huge negative impact on the sales of consumer electronics. In the last few years, the counterfeit sectors have shown an increasing curve which affects authorized producers manufacturing genuine modules. Therefore, suppliers and manufacturers of electronic modules demand the necessity of proper inspections to verify authentication and genuine electronic products. During the pandemic, the counterfeit factor in the electronic industry sector was activated to obtain a higher profit margin. Therefore, filtering the counterfeit issue was challenging for the industry during the COVID‐19 outbreak.
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Massive Investment in R&D Activities on Efficient Switch Technologies to Propel Market Growth
With the growing demand for responsive switches in the electronic industry, major manufacturers are investing in research and development activities related to the switches to reduce the size and enhance functionality. With the emergence of the 5G network in the smartphone industry, the demand for devices, such as smartwatches, smart glasses, and wearable audio gadgets, is expected to surge greatly. For example, in October 2020, Citizens Electronics Co. Ltd. launched a product line of tactile switches for smartphones and wearable devices, achieving the smallest thickness. The company announced that this surface-mounted tactile switch was developed to reduce the thickness and size of the switches and enhance gadgets’ functionality. The above factor and the acquisition of contracts from key players in the market are set to drive the market in the forecast period.
Emergence of Industrial Control Systems to Compliment Industry Outlook
Automation in industrial applications and processes has greatly boosted large-scale industry owners, increasing productivity and reducing human error. The development of modern control frameworks, such as PLC, SCADA, and IT control, has made automated data collection procedures more accurate and efficient. The automation of tactile switches and signaling devices have been primarily utilized as it provides feedback to the user, thus reducing the factor of human error. The flexibility these switches offer in control and functionality in machinery operations and the improvement in safe working surroundings is set to augment the market in the forecast period.
Increasing Utilization of Switches in Vehicles Produced Across the World to Favor Tactile Switches Market Growth
The automotive industry is transitioning from hardware to software-defined vehicles, and the average software and electronics content per vehicle is increasing rapidly. Consumers' demand, government involvement, and greater automatic control of systems have increased the use of electronics in vehicles. Additionally, with the increasing focus on autonomous vehicles and making cars smarter by connecting Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, and ensuring consumer convenience, the demand for these switches in new cars has been increasing at a rapid rate.
Additionally, the demand for automotive electronics has increased as technologies are being made widely available in mid-range and entry-level cars while consumers purchase technology-based aftermarket products. For instance, in June 2019, C&K, a manufacturer of electrochemical switches, launched its KSC XA series of tactile switches for shifting gear paddles application in steering wheels. The product has a relatively more minor form factor and has a compact package of 6.2 x 6.2 x 4.9 mm. Moreover, the market size is significantly influenced by the utilization of these switches in vehicles, as the sound and haptics of a switch can strongly impact the driver’s perception of the quality of a car.
Usage of Tactical Switches in Operations of Commercial Equipment and Industrial Machinery to Promote Market Growth
Rapidly increasing modernizing industrial infrastructure coupled with rising energy demand across the emerging economies will boost the adoption of these switches in industrial machinery globally. These switches with responsive feedback are used in operating devices and equipment units to set operating modes and conditions and to start and stop the operation. Information appliances and equipment include temperature controllers, air conditioning systems, inverter control panels, and measuring instruments and medical devices. An increase in the adoption of tactile switches in household appliances and office equipment has been witnessed during the analysis.
These switches are used in control panels of devices, such as printers and multifunction printers, to set operating modes and conditions and start and stop the operation. Sealed switches, which are water-resistant, are used in dishwashers and washing machines. These factors will likely drive the global market during the forecast period.
High Cost of these Switches Compared to Linear Switches to Impede Market Growth
A click response of a button is the most characteristic feature of a tactile switch that lets users feel the operation's response from a switch. A clicking feel is generated from the contact dome embedded in the switch. A typical tactile switch consists of a cover, a plunger, a contact dome, and a base. The length of operation strokes and sharpness of a click sense of touch depend on the materials and shapes of the contact dome. On the other hand, linear switches do not require a plunger or a contact dome, which reduces the manufacturing cost per piece of linear switches.
Additionally, linear switches provide a smooth and reliable circuit or machine equipment activation with no tactile feedback. Also, in computer peripheral applications, such as keyboards, linear switches are mostly preferred by a user who demands smooth and consistent typing movements. The above factors may hinder the global market growth in the forecast period.
Standard Segment to Dominate the Market Owing to its Wide Adoption in the Electronics Industry
By type, the market is segmented into standard and sealed. Due to several favorable factors, the standard segment amassed the largest revenue share in the global market in 2021.
Growing usage of standard switches in commercial and industrial machinery, various home electronic appliances, and increasing use in automotive infotainment systems and in-flight entertainment devices are some factors boosting the segment’s growth in the global market. These switches are small, low profile, and feature a life cycle up to 1000k, making them suitable for various general usage applications such as high-end consumer, IoT, and medical devices.
The sealed segment is also a key segment in the market due to its heavy utilization as sealed switches offer a double-sealed structure for high resistance to water and dust. Sealed tactile buttons are primarily utilized in the working environment of high temperatures or areas that deal with toxic gases such as nitric gas, sulfuric gas, and ammonia gas.
Non-illuminated Switches Segment is Preferred Owing to its Cost Effectiveness and Easy Handling
Based on Illumination, the global market is segmented into Illuminated and non-illuminated. Due to several favorable factors, the non-Illuminated switches segment held the largest revenue share worldwide in 2021.
Switches with Illumination are installed with red, green, or yellow LED lights, offering full-face and bright Illumination for attractive, functional panel layouts. The LED provides feedback when pressed for its operation. They are usually used in medical devices.
Non-illuminated switches occupy a significant portion of the market as they are cost-effective, easy to operate, and offer less design complexity. These switches are most commonly preferred where there is no need for LED feedback of tactile switches during their operation.
Round Segment to Dominate Backed by Growing Demand in Various Industries
Based on actuator type, the global market is segmented into square, rectangular, plunger, round, and others. According to our analysis, the round actuator type switches are the most utilized and registered the largest tactile switches market share in the global market in 2021.
An actuator is a component of an electrical switch used to control its mechanics. It is responsible for the closing and opening of a circuit. An actuator is a moving part of mechanical components that allows an electrical switch to function. Without it, a switch cannot open and close.
Due to its compact design, the round segment held the largest share in the global market in 2021. These switches occupy the least space on the circuit board or are mounted on a surface through PCB keyholes.
The plunger segment is one of the key segments in the global market. Plunger tactile switches operate with less physical force. When the actuator/plunger is pressed, it either opens or closes the electrical circuit, turning the power on or off. Each plunger switch contains a spring and a contact set that converts mechanical energy from an actuator into an electrical output.
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Electronic Devices Segment to Dominate Backed by its Tactile Feedback upon Pressing
Based on application, the global market is segmented into automotive, medical, electronic devices, and others. The electronic devices segment held the highest share in the market in terms of application. The electronic industry has witnessed a considerable surge in the adoption of switches as they offer tactile feedback upon pressing. The thriving consumer electronics industry, increasing demand for white goods (domestically used electronic goods such as washing machines, refrigerators, water heaters, ovens, and others.), and rising disposable incomes of consumers are some key factors leading to the robust growth of this segment.
Such switches are increasingly utilized in medical devices as they offer many actuator response cycles and tactile feedback. The switches used in medical devices are required to deliver millions of cycles, and their silicon actuators provide integration of many switches, providing switch travel depending on the force applied and hardness of the actuator.
Asia Pacific Tactile Switches Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market has been analyzed geographically across five main regions, including Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to register the fastest revenue growth rate worldwide over the forecast period. Extensive use of such switches due to several advantages, such as fewer errors, longer switch life, durable construction, robust resistance to moisture and contaminants, and increased user satisfaction, is one of the major factors driving the revenue growth in the Asia Pacific region.
The North American market held the second largest revenue share in 2021. Several factors, such as transitioning from hardware to software-enabled vehicles and increasing penetration of electronics into major application fields, including powertrain, safety management, body, and convenience or infotainment, are expected to create ample opportunities for major companies in the region.
The utilization of these switches in Europe is increasing in various industries such as automotive, energy and electricity, chemical & pharmaceutical, food processing, and metallurgy. Various trade exhibitions and fairs have also helped tactile switch companies expand their customer base and significantly contribute to the growth of the market. With the increasing market size of the electronics and automotive industry in the region, the adoption of switches is expected to rise as they are rigorously tested and feature a tight tolerance due to automated production. Other benefits of these switches include performance stability and durability, long life cycle, IP67 certification for select products, corrosion-resistant plating, and an array of orientations to adapt products to user needs.
Panasonic is Focusing on Acquiring New Contracts through its Subsidiaries to Fortify its Position across the Industry
The global market has observed many market players announcing a wide range of product launches & solutions to fortify their position. The industry has also witnessed steady involvement of key global and regional players and several small & medium-scale system integrators.
Major players include Panasonic, Omron, TE Connectivity, and C&K. The major companies constitute around half of the market, and the remaining market is dominated by many regional and local players for various end-use applications. In December 2020, Panasonic Corporation announced the launch of bulk production of Turquoise Stroke mini tactile switches to improve the safety of vehicles. With built-in resistors, these switches have compact and waterproof abilities and can detect wiring failure to improve safety.
An Infographic Representation of Tactile Switches Market
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The research reports offer a qualitative and quantitative in-depth industry analysis of the global market. It further details the adoption of tactile switch systems across several regions. The report provides a detailed competitive landscape by presenting information on key players and their strategies in the market. Information on market trends, drivers, opportunities, threats, and market restraints can further help stakeholders gain valuable insights into the market.
Value (USD Billion)
By Actuator Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 6.36 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 9.35 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the region stood at USD 2.65 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 5.1%, the market is projected to exhibit staggering growth during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The standard segment under the type category is anticipated to hold the leading share in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing utilization of switches in vehicles produced worldwide and using tactile switches in commercial equipment and industrial machinery operations are some of the major factors driving the market growth.
Panasonic, Omron, TE Connectivity, and C&K are among the key players operating across the industry.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
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