Smartphones With Keyboards Headed for the Scrap Heap

Say goodbye to the physical keyboard if you still have one that comes on your smartphone.

New research shows nearly three-quarters of smartphones shipped just five years from now will be touchscreen-only. In its new study, Smartphone Evolution Strategies,” Juniper Research says manufacturers will ship 700 million touchscreen-only smartphones 72 percent of the total (approximately 1 billion). Thats up from just over half in 2010.

Junipers study looked at manufacturers future plans for smartphone models and found a distinct trend away from hard-key-only interfaces.” One example is Research In Motion well-known for its iconic keyboard announcing new devices focused more on touchscreen interaction.

Touchscreen displays not only provide a superior user experience for many activities, but free up space on the device for a larger display: That extra 2 to 3 inches can make a world of difference in the range of activities that can be performed more comfortably on the smartphone,” said report author Daniel Ashdown. For example, mobile games the most downloaded type of app are more appealing with a larger display.”

Junipers research also shows 3D-enabled smartphones will start to catch on led by LG and HTC with shipments reaching 80 million by 2016; less-expensive smartphones ($150 or lower) will represent one-third of shipments in five years; and smartphones that can morph into game consoles, tablets, etc., will become more common as vendors look for unique selling points.

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