Global market for touch screen mobile devices will increase by 97 per cent to reach 362.7 million units in 2010 in comparison to 184.3 million units sold in 2009, a report by Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company said.
The report also said that touch screen mobile devices would account for 58 per cent of all mobile device sales world wide with more than 80 per cent of consumers using touch screen mobiles in the developed markets of North America and Western Europe.
“Touch screens are no longer the preserve of high-end devices and are now being included in many mid-range phones as more companies have been driving the consumer market for affordable touchscreen phones,” Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner said.
Referring to sales volume in different region, the report said that Asia-Pacific would be the leading region for touch screen market with an expected sales volume of more than 129.1 million units.
The contribution from Asia-Pacific region will be around 35.6 per cent to the global market for touch screen mobile phones, the report added.
“In comparison to Asia-Pacific region, Western Europe will account for 26.8 per cent and North America will contribute 24.4 per cent to the global sales,” the report said.
However, the report said that penetration of touch devices as part of overall sales in Western Europe is at 49 per cent, followed by North America at 46.65 per cent.
Referring to the technology upgradation in this segment, the report said, “ With mobile phone vendors now focused on integrating touch technologies, many are now going a step further and beginning to deliver user interfaces (UIs) that are truly optimised for touch input.”
Vendors are also increasing their software skills to deliver deeper integration to touch UIs with the underlying platform, rather than software toys, the report added.
Gartner also predicts that capacitive and resistive touch screens will coexist in the short term in mobile phones. While capacitive touch will be mainstream technology, resistive touch screens will still be used due to their lower cost.
However, the report said that vendors had to provide a complete experience to the consumers rather than just a product.
“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.” the report said.
The report also said that vendors should invest in expanding their UI design capabilities and try to integrate it with underlying device software.