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CrucialTec sees shining opportunities in smartphone boom

A global smartphone boom is proving to be a significant boon for business for CrucialTec, a Korean maker of optical trackpads widely used in handsets for navigating menus.

Optical trackpads detect the movement of the finger, helping mobile users more easily scroll through the information they need on their phones.

CrucialTec is known as the pioneer in the technology, as its feats include developing the world’s first nano-optical trackpad.

The company is now aiming to further ramp up sales by diversifying its customers.

“The mobile phone market is expected to continue growing on the back of increased demand from emerging markets including China, and this also is translating into more orders from diversified customers,” said Charles Ahn, CEO of CrucialTec.

The company is already doing business with almost all of the world’s leading handset makers, such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Pantech, Motorola, Research In Motion and HTC.

Talks also are underway with Nokia, the world’s largest handset maker, CrucialTec said, to strike a deal by the second half of this year to provide its trackpads.

“This means we will finally have all the global handset makers as their customers except for Apple,” the firm said.

Globally, sales of smartphones are predicted to grow over 30 percent to 170 million units in 2013, which translates into more business opportunities for parts suppliers such as CrucialTec.

But it’s not just smartphones fanning the demand, as optical trackpads are used in a wide range of mobile devices, including feature phones.

“We are now expecting to see sales growth in emerging markets such as Central and Southern America, Europe and Asia on the increasing demand for low-end feature phones that are embedded with optical trackpads, having been influenced by smartphones,” CrucialTec said.

CrucialTec was established in 2001 and has shown brisk growth in recent years.

In 2010, the firm saw its sales jump three-fold, mainly thanks to the ever-growing demand for smartphones.

By Kim Ji-hyun (