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According to the latest market figures, sales of touchscreen devices will make up 58% of all mobile unit sales worldwide, and well over 80% of all sales in EMEA by 2013
Sales in western Europe will account for around 97.2 million units, or around 26.8% of the predicted market this year, with North America accounting for 24%. Europe will lead the market in terms of total penetration, with touchscreens accounting for 49% of the total market.
However, the runaway leader will be APAC, said Gartner, which said 129.1 million devices will be shipped this year, although the size of the regional population means that touchscreens will account for just over 23% of the market.
Gartner said the ease of inputting Chinese or Japanese characters onto a touchscreen as opposed to via a keypad was a powerful driver in the local market.
"Touchscreens are no longer the preserve of high-end devices and are now included in many midrange phones as more companies have been driving the consumer market for affordable touchscreen phones," said Gartner principal research analyst Roberta Cozza.
Cozza conceded that the runaway success of Apple's iPhone has been a rising tide to lift the ships of other vendors, having demonstrated the viability of capacitive touch technology in mobile devices.
She added that in the long-run capacitive touch devices that allow for a range of user gestures will win out over resistive touch devices.