Touchscreen phone sales to grow 97 percent in 2010
Currently mobile phone vendors are focused on integrating touch
technologies, many are now going a step further and beginning to
deliver user interfaces (UIs) that are truly optimized for touch input.
They are also increasing their software skills to deliver deeper
integration of touch UIs with the underlying platform, rather than
software overlays. Seeing this current trend, Gartner predicts that the
worldwide market for touchscreen mobile devices will surpass 362.7
million units in 2010, a 96.8 percent increase from 2009 sales of 184.3
"Touchscreens are no longer the preserve of high-end devices and are
now being included in many midrange phones as more companies have been
driving the consumer market for affordable touchscreen phones," said
Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. "As phone
capabilities increase, consumers are becoming much more aware of the
benefits of touch interfaces, and vendors are responding."
The success of the iPhone has shown the viability of capacitive touch
technology in mobile phones, which enables more-natural, responsive and
intuitive gestures. Gartner predicts that capacitive and resistive
coexist in the short term in mobile phones. Capacitive touch will be
the mainstream technology; however, resistive touchscreens will still
be around because of its lower cost.
However, it is important that apart from churning out newer touchscreen
phones, vendors also need to concentrate on delivering an experience
rather than just a product. "Consumers won’t buy a mobile device purely
for the touch UI," said CK Lu, research analyst at Gartner. Touch
technology is just an enabler, and ultimately, it is a compelling user
experience - which includes good UI design, applications and services -
that will make or break a product."
Lu advised vendors to invest in expanding their UI design capabilities
and ensure that designs for touch-driven UIs integrate closely with the
underlying device software, allowing for an uninterrupted experience.
He also said that vendors should consider integrating touch with other
form factors, such as numeric or QWERTY keypads, because touch UI
cannot fulfill all kinds of operations.
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