While every handset maker and their dog’s brother is introducing their version of a touchscreen phone as the industry engages in a rearguard action against the Apple juggernaut, not every touchscreen keeps the customer satisfied, it seems.

New data from research firm, Canalysys, suggests the hype around touchscreen devices is driving the industry – everybody wants one, but not everyone’s so happy with the ones they’ve got.

According to the researchers, in Western Europe, 54% of people want their next phone to be a touchscreen device. That’s nice – but, sadly, of those who already have a touchscreen gadget, just 47% say they will stick with touch for their next handset – and it really does depend on which manufacturer produces the one they’ve already got.

For the most part, users of Apple or HTC devices will happily take touchscreen next time they choose a phone, but only 27% of those with Sony Ericsson handsets plan to.

"The results suggest that consumer awareness of touchscreen UIs is very high, driven by the marketing of Apple, Samsung and others," said analyst Pete Cunningham. “It is also apparent that, with experience, a significant proportion of users have not been totally won over by some of these devices,” he added.

“There has always been a question mark over how well touchscreens would work among an SMS-centric audience and the results indicate the transition has not been totally smooth.”

Interestingly, the survey also reverals that, from over 3,000 phone users, 38% would prefer a finger-based touchscreen phone, while 16% want a stylus-based touchscreen phone.

“We are at a critical time in the mobile industry,” commented Canalys VP Mike Welch. “The user awareness and interest is clearly there, and the opportunity to drive a mass change in user interaction, and hence device capabilities and the opening up of new application and service revenue streams, is tantalisingly close. But only if users continue to embrace these new UIs once they have tried them. This is the new arena in which mobile vendors must differentiate themselves, and the user experience battle will spread to other product categories, such as netbooks.”

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