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.