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Touch-screen Mobile Phones Gain Adoption

A comScore market study of touchscreen mobile phone adoption in the U.S. uncovered a 159 percent growth rate during the past year -- to 23.8 million users in August 2009.

The growth in touchscreen device adoption substantially outpaced the already strong 63 percent growth in the adoption of smartphones.

"Touchscreen phones have quickly gained adoption as new devices have flooded the mobile marketplace," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of Mobile.

The Apple iPhone ranked as the top touchscreen device family with 32.9 percent of touchscreen device users age 13 and older, nearly four times larger than the market share of the next most popular device family -- the LG Dare (8.7 percent). LG Voyager ranked third with 7.8 percent of the market, followed by the Blackberry Storm (7.0 percent) and Palm Treo (6.5 percent).

Smartphones in general and touchscreen devices specifically tend to be more popular among younger users. While 38.8 percent of all mobile subscribers (age 13+) are under the age of 35, 51.4 percent of smartphone users are in this age cohort, as are 57.7 percent of touchscreen device users.

In fact, a significant 20.6 percent of touchscreen users are in the narrow age range of 18-24. Meanwhile, less than 5 percent of smartphone and touchscreen device users are age 65 and older, compared to 13 percent of the total U.S. mobile subscriber marketplace.

"The iPhone clearly set the trend in the industry for touchscreen devices, so it’s no surprise that it has the largest share of the market," added Donovan. "But as other players have entered the touchscreen market with compelling devices, competition is clearly heating up."

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