SAN FRANCISCO—By 2016, smartphones with touchscreens will account for 97 percent of all smartphone volume, up from 75 percent in 2010, according to market research firm ABI Research Inc.
According to ABI (New York), touchscreens deserve as much credit for the booming success of smartphones as 3G data speeds. Touchscreen smartphones accounted for only 7 percent of total smartphone volume in 2006, prior to the launch of Apple Inc.'s original iPhone, according to ABI. Touchscreens have been a key driver of smartphone market growth of 325 percent between then and now, according to the firm.
More economical resistive touch technology has been almost universally replaced in smartphones with the more elegant projected capacitive technology that was first introduced in mobile phones through the iPhone, ABI said. Screen and touch technologies continue to evolve and are starting to reshape the markets for other classes of mobile devices, according to the firm.
“Low-cost capacitive touch controllers that use just a single layer of sensors instead of two, and save as much as 30 percent on the cost, are opening the market for lower-end feature phones," said Kevin Burden, vice president of mobile devices at ABI, in a statement.
"And e-readers, which are the most fragmented device category in both display and touch technology, now have options that not only enable finger touch, but are at a cost that could standardize the segment’s displays," Burden said.
Touchscreen provides convenience in maneuvering apps and browsing the web. However, it causes problem if the handset is hold towards the ear. Phone call could be put on hold by ear. Apps can be fired by face. With this consideration, 97% is probably is high number.
On the other hands, there might still be market of smartphones with small form factor. Touchscreen will be difficult to accomplish in a small phone.
Capacitive touch is nice in that it allows your fingers to act like a stylus however, I can't tell you how many times I've had programs open due to a slight brush of the screen. Very annoying. At times I wish that a hybrid resistive/capacitive touch screen was available to give the best of both worlds ... or a least the option of being able to change the minimum touch time before a program will open.
I can easily see 97% of future products with a touch interface. Have you recently tried to buy just a cell phone? You can't. They are all bundled with extras like cameras and touch screens. The era of single use devices has disappeared and since a touch screen helps facilitates mutiple programs, it looks like it's here to stay
Unless the touch screens work as good as the i-gadgets like iphone and ipad they are quite useless and clunky and simply raise the cost of the device and make users freakout. I know of many high end smart phones which still have a so-so quality touch screen.
I do see that cell phones are more or less replacing need of computer for email and social networking part, so touch screen is becoming requirement. Key is to figure out how can we make them more power efficient since they are most power hog other than RF part.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.