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12/1/2009
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Samsung Sees Strong Demand For Touchscreens

Touchscreen phones will account for nearly 20% of the 200 million handsets Samsung expects to ship this year.

Samsung said it's on track to beat its sales estimates for this year thanks to a strong demand for touchscreen devices.

The world's second-largest handset maker is on pace to ship more than 200 million phones this year, and nearly 20% of those sold will be full-touch devices. By comparison, Samsung said touchscreen phones accounted for about 5% of sales in 2008.

While Samsung has its Omnia lineup to compete with high-end touch smartphones like Apple's iPhone and Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm, the company has seen much success by bringing touchscreens to the middle of the market alongside feature phones. Samsung's Star lineup doesn't have the features of more sophisticated devices like the touchscreen Motorola Droid, but it has already sold nearly 10 million units in six months due to its low price and customizable home screen.

"Samsung's ability to deliver devices that appeal to a broad demographic of users has enabled us to accelerate the evolution toward full-touch mobiles as mainstream devices," said J.K. Shin, executive VP of Samsung's mobile division, in a statement.

The company expects touchscreen devices to continue to account for a larger percentage of sales, and it is taking steps to make its devices more attractive to developers and consumers. The company recently announced a mobile operating system called Bada that will likely have a user interface tailored for touch devices.

The move comes as the market for touchscreens is becoming increasingly competitive, as nearly every major company is trying to bring touchscreen phones to the mid-market. LG Electronics has said publicly it is trying to move ahead of Samsung to become the second-largest cell phone maker in a few years, and it has released multiple popular full-touch feature phones like the Renoir and Cookie.

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