According to research firm Gartner, touchscreen mobile devices will surpass 362.7 million units in 2010, a 96.8 per cent increase from 2009.
It is also expected that touchscreen mobile devices will account for 58 per cent of all mobile device sales worldwide by 2013.
“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.”
Cozza said that touchscreen technology will be a major focus for suppliers throughout the year.
“As we saw at Mobile World Congress touch interface technology will continue to be one of the key areas of innovation during 2010,” she said.
“Vendor and industry focus on touch UI will bring increasing sophistication and spur adoption of touch UI in other consumer electronics devices.”
According to Gartner, the iPhone has shown that capacitive touch technology is the best option for a device, due to it being more natural and responsive. The company predicts that capacitive and resistive touchscreens will coexist in the short term, but capacitive will be the mainstream technology. The lower cost of resistive touchscreens will ensure the technology is still prevalent in the future.
CK Lu, research analyst at Gartner, said vendors have to concentrate on offering consumers an experience and not just a touch user interface.
“Consumers won’t buy a mobile device purely for the touch UI,” said Lu. “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.”