Why Windows Mobile Devices Don’t Have iPhone-like Touchscreens

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So there are two types of touchscreens that are used in mobile devices. Resistive (found on every Windows Mobile device) and capacitive (found on the iPhone, and a few other devices).

Resistive screens work by, well, resistance. If you press on the screen, you’re causing two electrically-charged layers to meet at a certain point. The device can then track the coordinates of the touch by where this contact occurred. Resistive touchscreens are cheaper to produce than capacitive, though offer lower visual clarity and are often times less sensitive.

A capacitive touchscreen exhibits a continuous flow of electrons across the surface. When an object that has capacitance, like a person’s finger, touches the screen, the capacitive field is distorted. The phone tracks the distortion and assigns coordinates to the touch. This is why you can’t use a pen tip (or any other non-finger object) with the iPhone – a pen tip doesn’t have capacitance.

Here’s the big question: Why don’t Windows Mobile device have iPhone-like capacitive touchscreens? Read on for more…

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About The Author
Brandon Miniman
Brandon is a graduate from the Villanova School of Business, located near Philadelphia, PA. He's been a technology writer since 2002, and, in 2005, became Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow, a then Windows Mobile-focused website. He has since helped to transition Pocketnow into a top-tier smartphone and tablet publication. He's so obsessed with technology that he once entered a candle store and asked if they had a "new electronics" scent. They didn't.