More than 100 million handsets with touch screens will be shipped in 2008, according to a new study from ABI Research. Increasing numbers of handsets with touch screens have started to appear in the market, including the Apple iPhone, the LG Prada, the HTC Touch, and the Ultra-Smart F700 from Samsung, as well as the P990, M600, and W950 handsets from Sony Ericsson. Touch screens and touch pads are gaining popularity and becoming more common on handsets, while helping to make the handsets more intuitive, pleasant, and efficient to use.
According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, "Handsets with intuitive user interfaces allow quick and easy access to various applications and services and can result in higher ARPUs for mobile operators by generating greater usage of their value-added services. Mobile operators are therefore keen to promote and market handsets with good UI on their networks." In the past, many smartphones and high-end handsets with a good number of attractive features have been commercial failures, simply because their user interfaces have been too complex and difficult for convenient use.
ABI Research expects that more than 500 million handsets shipped in 2012 will sport a touch-based user interface. "A good handset UI is important not just to meet and exceed users' expectations," notes Pandey, "but also to support fast and flexible design changes, operator customizations, and late software distribution, while maintaining low demands on the hardware."