While the multi-touch technology isn’t anything new, with the release of iPhone in 2007, marking the first time multi-touch technology was used on a phone – there seems to be a touchscreen frenzy with more and more touchscreen handsets coming out.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a co. which remains hot on the prospects of touchscreen technology is Hewlett-Packard (HP). The PC giant says it’s trying to get touch-enabled notebook computers on the market, “that use the same type of finger-tapping interface popularized by Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone”, within the next 18 months.
“We see touch as the almost preferred method for nontechnical users,” says HP’s Personal Systems Group CTO Phil McKinney.
Touchscreens are steadily gaining favor over keypads based on their software flexibility, space and intuitive operations. This could possibly mark the beginning of the end of the keyboard. Furthermore, touchscreen provides a quantifiable effect on efficiency and user satisfaction.
If HP does apply an all-touch screen interface to its notebook computers and other products, similar to Apple’s iPhone, it will signal the start of a new and un-penetrated market for more applications.
According to industry tracker iSuppli, notes WSJ, the number of touchscreen devices, including PCs, should more than double to 800 million by 2013. Spending on touchscreen components likely will reach $6.4 billion, up 33% from $4.8 billion, over the same period.
A successful response from touchscreens might help HP lift its stock price which is currently hovering around the $45 level, down about 11% year-to-date. The company faces fierce competition from computer maker Dell Inc. (DELL) which only last month announced its new XT Tablet PC.
Apple on the other hand, after spurring the interest and solidifying the trend in touchscreen devices, continues to remain silent on a touch interface for its computers. It currently uses its multi-touch touchpad, an interface where you can, (figuratively speaking), pinch things on the screen with two fingers and drag your fingers apart to make the items bigger.