Touchscreen shipments soared in 2007
Shipments of touchscreen-based mobile devices during 2007 increased 91 per cent over 2006, and ABI Research forecasts that revenue from the global touchscreen market for mobile phones and other handheld devices will reach $5bn in 2009.
“Nearly all mobile handset manufacturers are getting into touchscreens to a greater or lesser extent,” said ABI research director Kevin Burden. “The acceptance of touch screens 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 per cent and 30 per cent shares of the touchscreen mobile phone market respectively. “Samsung and Motorola lead the market for touch screen phones primarily because of their scale and significant presence in the Asian markets,” said 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 per cent of the world’s touch screen-based mobile-phone production over the past year.”
At 24 per cent Sony Ericsson has the third-largest market share, while all the other handset vendors – including Apple – are 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 personalisation options as device functionality increases. Also, prices for touch components and panels continue to decrease and are falling on an average of nearly 10 per cent per year.