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500 million touch-phones to ship by 2012

Sep 26, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

More than 100 million handsets with touch screens will be shipped in 2008, and more than 500 million will ship by 2012, according to a new study by ABI Research. Citing recent product introductions, the research firm says intuitive user interfaces are now becoming a critical ingredient in smartphones.

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According to the report, touch screens and touch pads make the handsets more intuitive, pleasant, and efficient to use. However, there is a difference between a standard interface, which may or may not respond to a touch screen, and one that has specifically evolved to employ touch.

The firm says that for a handset's user interface to be considered “advanced,” it should offer the user or programmer the following elements:

  • A dynamic layout
  • Skinning/theming

  • Animation
  • Support for 3D effects
  • At least one specialized authoring tool
  • Window management
ABI Research's abstract gives examples of seven different frameworks for creating advanced handset interfaces. These are Adobe's Flash, Bluestreak's MachBlue, Mizi's Prizm, Qualcomm's uiOne, Trolltech's Qtopia, Tat's Kastor, and Symbian's UIQ interface layer.

According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, “Handsets with intuitive user interfaces … can result in higher ARPUs [average revenues per user] for mobile operators by generating greater usage of their value-added services.” 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 were too complex, she adds.

ABI's research report is available now, though pricing was not released. The 18-page report, “Mobile Phone User Interfaces,” specifically discusses products such as Apple's iPhone and the Windows Mobile-based LG Prada, HTC Touch, as well as Symbian-based devices from Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

More information is available on the firm's website, here.

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