The majority of high-end media players will have touchscreens by the end of the year - but costs won't tumble as a result. That's according to reports coming out of the Far East where Taiwanese tech industry chronicle DigiTimes cites 'industry sources' for its reasoning.

Mind you, it doesn't take much to work out that the media player followers will debut touch devices over the next few months - just as soon as you can say 'iPod touch rip-off'.

Costly displays

However, it appears that the same provision will not make its way to mid-range and entry-level media due to the increased cost of the screens. One of the TFT screens currently used within media players costs around half that of the flash memory used within a player.

The publication's sources also predict that a 3.5-inch touchscreen display could account for as much as $45 of the production cost. And when you consider that 8GB of NAND flash memory costs $30, you're talking a significant extra cost for that snazzy iPod touch-esque display.

Added to which, it's expected that demand for touchscreens will outstrip supply this year - so expect costs to remain rather high.