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ABI: Touchscreens in mobile apps to hit $5B next year

Posted: 18 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:touchscreen panel? mobile application? market forecast?

Touchscreens have been available for some time and are found in a variety of fixed and portable devices, but it was Apple's iPhone that refocused the public's attention on them as never before. Shipments in 2007 of touchscreen-based mobile devices increased 91 percent over 2006, and ABI Research forecasts that revenue from the global touchscreen market for mobile phones and other handheld devices such as mobile Internet devices, ultramobile PCs and personal navigation devices will reach $5 billion in 2009.

"Nearly all mobile handset manufacturers are getting into touchscreens to a greater or lesser extent," says research director Kevin Burden. "The acceptance of touchscreens to date has varied by geographic region, which has been a significant factor in determining the success of individual handset vendors."

Samsung and Motorola have been the most successful, commanding 33 percent and 30 percent shares of the touchscreen mobile phone market respectively. "Samsung and Motorola lead the market for touchscreen phones primarily because of their scale and significant presence in the Asian markets," says Burden. "Because it's difficult to represent even a fraction of the common Asian characters on a QWERTY-style keyboard, touchscreen devices on which characters can be written with a stylus are immensely popular. The Asia Pacific market consumed more than 80 percent of the world's touchscreen-based mobile phone production over the past year."

At 24 percent Sony Ericsson has the third-largest market share, while all the other handset vendorsincluding Appleare essentially niche players.

A number of factors are driving further adoption of touchscreen-based mobile devices. Consumers are looking for more intuitive user interfaces and personalization options as device functionality increases. Also, prices for touch components and panels continue to decrease and are falling on an average of nearly 10 percent per annum.

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