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  • Apple Considered Using Physical Keyboard for the iPhone


    In a recent interview with The Verge, the former Apple executive Tony Fadell revealed that Apple narrowed down the original design of the iPhone to three prototypes before introducing the phone in January 2007.

    The final designs according to him were an iPod-phone hybrid, an undisclosed version which was also called the “iPhone” and the final model that reached customers’ hands. When asked about his personal opinion, Fadell said that he recognized the potential of a virtual keyboard and would of even went as far as waiting for the technology instead of going with a hardware option. Jobs ended up siding with Fadell’s point of view and both ended up seeing the success their decision had created. Before the iPhone hit the market, the general trend was heavily skewed towards QWERTY keyboards. This was a time when Research in Motion dominated the market, implementing physical keyboards in all of its designs included the BlackBerry Pearl, which was popular.

    One of the major drawbacks to early virtual keyboards was the ease of use as the overarching resisting touchscreen technology was far from being intuitive and many applications often required the use of a stylus. The iPhone ended up introducing capacitive touchscreens to the consumer, which allowed Apple to create a device that was not only sleek but also user friendly than many other smartphones. After the debut of the iPhone, the overall market began to shift to multitouch screen technology and slowly move away from physical keyboards. Although some users still prefer the tactile feedback that a hardware solution provides, more people seem to prefer the ease of use and design of the virtual keyboard.

    Source: The Verge
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Considered Using Physical Keyboard for the iPhone started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. AfterMercyFM's Avatar
      AfterMercyFM -
      Cool story, bro. Needs more substance and stuff.
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      Apple didn't introduce the capacitive touchscreen. LG did (Prada).
    1. Knehcs's Avatar
      Knehcs -
      Of course they considered it-- it would be irresponsible not to investigate the current trend to see if it was a route worth taking. After this "consideration," they decided against it. I don't see why this would be surprising to anyone.
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Quote Originally Posted by Knehcs View Post
      Of course they considered it-- it would be irresponsible not to investigate the current trend to see if it was a route worth taking. After this "consideration," they decided against it. I don't see why this would be surprising to anyone.
      thank god i can barely use a physical keyboard now since owning my 3rd iPhone lol. physical keyboards seem so old school now anyway
    1. boostin4hp's Avatar
      boostin4hp -
      This was NEWS in 2007 and even then common knowledge...
    1. micro_master's Avatar
      micro_master -
      Quote Originally Posted by boostin4hp View Post
      This was NEWS in 2007 and even then common knowledge...
      Lol, guys ease up. It might just be a slow news day. I would have liked to know more about the three prototypes though, that seemed cool.
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Now that all the other phones are discovering bigger screens > smaller screen and physical keyboard. Apple is going to switch to the other one. Yeah...
    1. Lohand's Avatar
      Lohand -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      Apple didn't introduce the capacitive touchscreen. LG did (Prada).
      Amen Brother! I know because I beta tested the thing through a number of firmware iterations
    1. DeathOfLife's Avatar
      DeathOfLife -
      I know I would like a slide out keyboard don't lie apple touch screen is good and all but I can't type fast without making 100 mistakes and apple not knowing the simplest autocorrect and also Apple it's rare that I start off a text saying to stop correcting my yo lol
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lohand View Post
      Amen Brother! I know because I beta tested the thing through a number of firmware iterations
      Did you know the smartphone beta test is over?
    1. NakedFaerie's Avatar
      NakedFaerie -
      I got the iPhone 1 then 1 month later got a iMate JasJam which has the fold out keyboard and that kicked *** over the iPhone.
      The JasJam is better than the iPhone 1, 3G and 3GS. The iPhone 4 and IOS4 is when it started to equal to the 5 year old phone.

      iPhone is so way behind. The latest Android kicks *** over the iPhone and it'll be another year at least before iPhone can equal the Android that is released now.
    1. Lohand's Avatar
      Lohand -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      Did you know the smartphone beta test is over?
      LOL! I could tell you stories about said iPhone above and the hoops we had to go through to get access to network beta test it. Lets just say being 1 of the first 6 on the US east coast to get hands on, required not only Sir Jobs personal approval but a death blood oath if it was ever spoken of publicly. Talk about fear and intimidation this was after all the "real" iPhone Alpha (sorry ROKR E1)...

      PS What would be cool is a Apple device museum where they are allowed to display models that didn't make it. It would be cool to see that keyboarded iPhone. Hey, it could happen. TC just doesn't seem to be as much a tight ares as SJ. Sayin...
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by DeathOfLife View Post
      I know I would like a slide out keyboard don't lie apple touch screen is good and all but I can't type fast without making 100 mistakes and apple not knowing the simplest autocorrect and also Apple it's rare that I start off a text saying to stop correcting my yo lol

      Did you use your phone to type the above? lol. Just poking fun. ;-)
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      Apple didn't introduce the capacitive touchscreen. LG did (Prada).
      Haha tron had touch screens (classic tron not new one)
    1. bajesus's Avatar
      bajesus -
      "would of..." ?
      palm slaps forehead.
    1. eZStaR's Avatar
      eZStaR -
      Quote Originally Posted by NakedFaerie View Post
      I got the iPhone 1 then 1 month later got a iMate JasJam which has the fold out keyboard and that kicked *** over the iPhone.
      The JasJam is better than the iPhone 1, 3G and 3GS. The iPhone 4 and IOS4 is when it started to equal to the 5 year old phone.

      iPhone is so way behind. The latest Android kicks *** over the iPhone and it'll be another year at least before iPhone can equal the Android that is released now.
      lol you and your "facts," are so full of ****. Good luck with that logic.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by NakedFaerie View Post
      I got the iPhone 1 then 1 month later got a iMate JasJam which has the fold out keyboard and that kicked *** over the iPhone.
      The JasJam is better than the iPhone 1, 3G and 3GS. The iPhone 4 and IOS4 is when it started to equal to the 5 year old phone.

      iPhone is so way behind. The latest Android kicks *** over the iPhone and it'll be another year at least before iPhone can equal the Android that is released now.
      The JasJam was great in it's day - WinMo was fantastic. It did everything the iPhone did and, without 3G, I didn't even consider the iPhone. When the 3G came out i looked - and was stunned by how much better it was. it did everything win Mo did but 'better'. I've not looked back since.

      Different people want different things so if you're happy with what you've got, great. But the only thing the JasJar had that the iPhone 3G didn't was a physical keyboard - but you then go on to say that Android is better and AFAIK no android device has a physical keyboard?

      You can argue that Android is 'better' than the iPhone - personally I prefer the iPhone but to argue that the JasJar is better than the 3G, let alone later models does stretch the limits of your credibility.

      But, each to his own.
    1. teej1410's Avatar
      teej1410 -
      As long as they manage to make it sleek, I'm up for it.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by teej1410 View Post
      As long as they manage to make it sleek, I'm up for it.
      Up for what? It was something they considered and rejected years ago.
    1. teej1410's Avatar
      teej1410 -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Up for what? It was something they considered and rejected years ago.
      I'm up for the physical keyboard on the iPhone. I'm not saying that it needs one but I already made about 5 mistakes making this comment and the modmyi app isn't helpimg seeing as I'm kinda of typing blind.