Canalys has just finished a very revealing report that concluded that many Europeans are willing to give touch-screens a shot, due to ease of use. The impending launch of the iPhone pushed this study out, and has a thing or two to say about user interface.
“Although the user interface is only part of the solution to expanding the market, it is a critical part. You need compelling services and content, and transparent and fair pricing,” said Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham. “But if the interface gets in the way people will soon lose interest or choose other platforms to satisfy their needs.” … “If a customer picks up a phone in a retail store and can’t see how to do the basics within 20 seconds, they will walk away.”
Even though this is such a critical part of the mobile experience, manufacturers are drifting away from touchscreens, perhaps in the hope of introducing untapped input innovations, like the trackball. While 28% of Europeans chose to stick with the numeric keypad on their mobile, 23% were willing to make the switch so long as screen size remained large, and 24% put device size as their top priority. One of the more interesting numbers to come out of the report was the 50% of those surveyed who were already using extracurricular functions on their mobile (TV, music, e-mail, GPS) that were agreeable to using a touch-screen.
Do touch-screens go hand-in-hand with power users? And if so, why haven’t they come to BlackBerrys?