Due largely to the “touch friendly” nature of Windows 8 and generally competitive pricing from ODMs, DisplayBank has reported that shipments of touchscreen-equipped notebooks increased by 51.8 percent in Q1 2013 (compared to Q4 2012) to 4.57 million units.
DisplayBank has further estimated that this represents approximately 10 percent of the overall notebook market and has reported that companies from the Greater China region, including Acer, Asus and Lenovo, now aim to double the market penetration of touchscreen notebooks in the near future.
Though we have no official confirmation, it seems probable that this ambitious target may have been at least partially motivated by Intel’s inclusion of touchscreens in its 3rd Generation Ultrabook Specification and the associated increase in marketing subsidies and general assistance provided to the company’s partners.
Hype created by microsoft/manufacturers and not driven by demand.
I owned a cute little ASUS touch screen netbook which had win7 on it and touch was awesome. It was much more convenient to use the keys and touch than the keys and mouse for 80% of my use on it. After putting win8 (CP) on it I literally never used the mouse for anything and actually disabled the mouse so that I would not have to worry about rubbing my palm across it.
The issues were of course having finger prints on it which would have to be cleaned, and being an older resistive screen it added a lot of glare to an otherwise above-average quality netbook screen. But for anything in the 14" or smaller laptop realm touch is actually quite useful, and if they put a glass screen on it then it would be much easier to clean smudges.
Get much bigger than that, or in a desktop environment where you sit much further away from the screen, then I completely agree that touch is completely useless. However, I have high hopes for more gesture based motion control as found with leap motion or kinnect style technology to make touch-like controls more useful for those platforms.
Still not going to completely replace keys and mice though.
I know if I had a touchscreen on my PC/laptop, I would still use the attached keyboard/mouse/trackpad most of the time due to:
- wanting to keep the screen clean
- keyboard/mouse is faster and more precise
- holding arms at screen height puts more strain on my arms than the keyboard does
- using the mouse/trackpad avoids having a very large chunk of the screen covered by my hands
So the number of PC-based activities where touch might be desirable when traditional methods are available is somewhat limited.