Touchscreen phones, led by Apple's iPhone, are becoming the mobile sector's next blockbuster application, and Asian makers and consumers are increasingly joining the party.
Peter Chou is CEO of world No.1 smartphone maker High Tech Computer. The Taiwanese company is launching its Diamond touchscreens in Asia and the U.S. later this year, and expecting over 3 million in sales.
[Peter Chou, CEO, High Tech Computer]:
"We put tremendous software effort in this product to try to really make mobile Internet workable, so we see 2008 is the year HTC will take a major step forward to actually make mobile Internet usable and
Nokia and Blackberry are also reportedly preparing touchscreens, as the high-speed phones allow video watching and music, as well as truer Internet connectivity.
Japan's eAccess uses HTC phones and Chairman Sachio Semmoto says touchscreens will bring mobile broadband to the masses.
[Sachio Semmoto, Chairman, eAccess]:
"The iPhone is one tool; Diamond is another tool. Those kinds of smartphones, which are suitable for broadband appetite, are going to be increasing position for coming years."
Apple has signed deals to bring the iPhone to selected Asian nations but not Japan, where it's talking with top player NTT DoCoMo and No. 3 Softbank on a deal to enter the 100 million-user market.