Poll results: 93% want some kind of mouse on a handheld device
Whether it's a pointer/joystick, a small touchpad, or an optical pad, a whopping 93% of readers who voted in the most recent Pocketables poll want a mouse on their handheld devices. The absence of this hardware control doesn't seem to be a dealbreaker, as many users are making do with the touchscreen on the Aigo MID and are still interested in the UMID M1 (which used to have a pointer), but it's interesting to see how many prefer it over strictly touch-based navigation, especially since that's the direction in which many handhelds are heading.
User interface is certainly a consideration given that finger-friendly ones have less need for a mouse-like hardware control, but full-blown desktop operating systems like Windows XP (which many have hacked to run on the Aigo and which is an available option on the UMID) are another story. And stylus- or fingernail-driven devices are definitely overstaying their welcome.