The last year has certainly seen a huge increase in touch screen technology with regard to mobile devices. We’re already awaiting the launch of the second generation/3G iPhone which is rumoured to be set for release on the 9th of June at the WWDC and the first iPhone has seen success in many countries, expanding it’s reach with announcements of availability in new countries regularly appearing on the news wires.
Not only that, but you’ve also got the likes of Windows 7, a small portion of which was demonstrated by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer last week at the Wall Street Journal’s “All Things Digital” conference. This snippet of the next Window’s OS showed off multi-touch screen capabilities similar to what iPhone and iTouch users have been seeing for the last year or so. Add to that the less famous touch screen technology associated with handheld gaming devices like Nintendo’s DS and it makes for a busy year.
Word back from our boys in Taiwan say that touch screen technology has a definite presence at the show; this is a bandwagon everyone wants to be on and according to Computex.com, touch screen technology is set to rise 9% by 2009. So how touchy feely is the market really going to get?
On one side you have the play-it-safe units like the mobile devices. Touch screen mobile devices are a lot easier to market, why have a keypad when you can tap the screen? Similarly touch screen tablets have been fairly successful. However, many people are of the opinion that the fact that tablets also come with a keyboard, do so for a very good reason. Some things are easier said and done with a keyboard and/or mouse. A mobile device, more often than not, offers a limited range of functions, a laptop, PC or tablet has significantly more, some of which would only be made more difficult by eliminating the keyboard, mouse or joystick.
Computex.com predicts smaller devices may lead the way into a price war due to the fact that the companies producing them are often just producing ‘me too’ items they know will sell. The larger easier to enter market means that while smaller touch screen devices sell like hot cakes, the companies producing them have weaker control over upstream materials, patents, and new technologies.
However, it would be an oversight to leave out the fact that there could be many benefits from the larger touch screen market for the likes of ATMs or similar. We’re already seeing the touch screen customer service points in retail branches so perhaps it would be wrong to say that large panels will not eventually see the same success as their smaller counterpart. One thing is for sure, the touch screen market is one to watch.