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Must-have applications driving sales as touchscreen devices go mainstream

Finger-driven computing - a phenomenon that was not too long ago just a fantasy seen in science fiction movies - is lurching into the mainstream, destined to become the primary input method for tomorrow’s computers.

By 2014 the worldwide production of touchscreen modules will have reached 117.9 million units, an exponential jump from the forecasted production of just 15.8 million units in 2010 says market researcher iSuppli in a report published on July 26.

Market research DisplaySearch confirmed the trend in its recently released 2010 Touch Panel Market Analysis, noting that "Touch screen penetration is rapidly increasing in portable devices like mobile phones, media players and navigation units."

Rather than mulling over what hardware their new touchscreen device has, consumers are becoming more interested in whether or not their new device will run their “must-have” apps.

Content is becoming king in the touchscreen world. It’s a trend that (for the moment at least) is benefiting consumers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and the manufacturers that make touchscreen devices.

"With intense competition flaring up among the ISVs to develop the next, must-have touch application, the battle will help to promote the sales of touch screen devices—not only in the consumer realm but also in the critical commercial segment," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli.  

"Whether the applications are developed for Windows 7, Linux, Mac, or the wealth of mobile operating systems, the ISVs will drive much of the demand for touch applications."

"The most popular tablet solutions may not be those that offer the widest doors to almost everything that is available on the Web,” added Alexander, “but rather those that offer entry into exclusive doors, or applications, that are only available through that particular brand or operating system."