Touchscreen–equipped mobile handset shipments are to exceed 230 Million by 2012 as technology spreads to feature phones

The popularity of touchscreens in smartphones and their influence in driving data revenues will cause the technology to rapidly spread to other handsets.

A report from IMS Research credits the original iPhone for sparking interest in touchscreen phones.
But its says what is currently a steady growth in sales of touchscreen-equipped mobile handsets will become even stronger.

The report forecasts that while fewer than 30 million touchscreen phones were sold in 2007, this will surge to over 230 million by 2012.

It cites numerous signs that show touchscreens are poised to significantly increase their presence in the mobile handset market.

Among them are recent announcements from the three largest mobile phone manufacturers which have highlighted a trend in the increased production of phones using touch technology.

In July, LG revealed that it had sold 7 million touchscreen handsets. This announcement came just five quarters after LG launched its very first touchscreen mobile phone.

Showing similar success, Samsung recently released the Instinct, a full touchscreen handset, through Sprint.
Just one week after the launch, Sprint announced that the Instinct had already become the best selling EV-DO device in the carrier’s history.

Not to be outdone, Apple reported selling 1 million of the new 3G iPhone handsets in just the first three days of its release.

Femi Omoni , IMS Research analyst and report author, said the original iPhone was the catalyst that created this huge market interest in touchscreen phones.

“The fact that it was not only popular with consumers, but also helped drive data revenues proved how important touchscreen handsets can be,” he said. “Now all of the network operators and handset manufacturers want a piece of the pie.”

The impressive growth that IMS Research is predicting will not be driven solely by the smartphone segment either.

According to the report Touchscreens & Input Technologies for Mobile Handsets, touchscreens will increasingly penetrate the much larger feature phone segment.
In fact, Nokia just announced that its initial foray into the touchscreen market will be targeted at the “volume market” because that segment of the population is the largest consumer of mobile phones.

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