Mobile users warm to touch-screen input

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Mobile users warm to touch-screen input

Research identifies 'market shift'.

Over a third of mobile phone users now prefer to use a touch-screen finger-based interface, according to research.

Touch controls emerged as the most popular method of phone input with 38 percent of users in a new study by Canalys, while 16 percent preferred to use a stylus.

The research firm suggested that this represents a "market shift" towards touch-centric devices.

"The results suggest that consumer awareness of touch-screen user interfaces is very high, driven by the marketing of Apple, Samsung and others," said Pete Cunningham, senior analyst at Canalys.

"There is no doubt that the changes in device design we have seen over the past couple of years have produced some very exciting products."

However, Canalys found that only 47 percent of people already using a touch-based handset would choose such a device again.

"It is also apparent that, with experience, a significant proportion of users have not been totally won over by some of these devices. This is to be expected, as it is quite a big shift for many users to make," said Cunningham.

"But a poor experience with one touch-screen device may dissuade users from trying another in the future, and it is imperative that vendors focus on usability and practicality, as well as visual appeal, and continue to enhance their interfaces.

"There has always been a question mark over how well touch-screens would work among an SMS-centric audience, and the results indicate that the transition has not been totally smooth."

Stylus users are the least likely to want to use finger controls, possibly because they believe they may lose some precision, Canalys said.

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