Researchers at Gartner say there'll be 362.7 million touchscreen mobile devices sold in 2010, a 96.8% increase from last year's sales of 184.3 million units. And in three years' time, touchscreen mobile devices will account for 58% of all mobile sales worldwide and more than 80% of sales in Western Europe.
Asia/Pacific is the leading region for touchscreen mobile device sales, with over 35% of global sales expected to come from the region this year. Western Europe is expected to account for 26.8% and North America for 24.4% of 2010's global touchscreen mobile sales.
When it comes to market penetration, Western Europe leads with 49%, followed by North America with 46.65% and Asia/Pacific with 23.4%.
Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said "Touchscreens are no longer the preserve of high-end devices and are now being included in many midrange phones as more companies have been driving the consumer market for affordable touchscreen phones. As phone capabilities increase, consumers are becoming much more aware of the benefits of touch interfaces, and vendors are responding."
CK Lu, another of Gartner's research analysts, added "The Asia/Pacific region adapted touch very early since handwriting is great for Chinese input. Looking at worldwide performance, touch technology is mainly driven by high end smartphones and feature phones. However, in Asia, the percentage of smartphones are relatively low compared to their sales in Western Europe and the US. Although the touch experience is generally welcome by users, price remains an inhibitor for wide adoption of touch phones, particularly in emerging markets."