Apple considered physical keyboard for the iPhone

I love physical keyboards, always have done. I enjoy the feeling of the click underneath my digits. But, I’ve had to become used to not having one since I got the iPhone. Let’s face it, the benefits of using iOS every day far outweigh the one benefit of using a BlackBerry. It’s a sacrifice I was willing to make. Imagine my frustration when I read the latest speculation: Apple did consider using a physical keyboard on the iPhone.

Tony Fadell, a former Apple exec who left to design the coolest thermostat in the world, disclosed some information in an interview with The Verge. He stated that before the final iPhone version was chosen, they’d narrowed it down to three designs. One was an iPod-like phone, the second was and still is a secret, the third was the original iPhone design that made it to market.

But, according to Fadell, during the design process they had considered using a physical keyboard. Both he and Jobs felt it inherent to leave it out. The iPhone had to be multitouch, and have a virtual keyboard. It was a major feature of the capacitive touchscreen technology that would set the iPhone apart from its resistive screen-equipped competition. As much as it pains me, the decision was clearly the right one. The first iPhone changed the face of the smartphone market, thanks to its lack of buttons and incredible touchscreen.

What are your thoughts? Would you like to see an iPhone with a physical keyboard? Or do you like it just as it is?

Via: The Verge

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  • ShawnSedha

    screw all that im switching to android.

  • jarrett_hudson

    I think if they would put a keyboard to put the space bar in the middle instead of what is pictured above. Also they really shouldnt and just upgrade to a bigger screen size like a 4 inch or a 4.3 inch :)

  • JoshuaTewell

    “But, I’ve *had* to become used to not having one since I got the iPhone.”  There has always been choice, and it’s due to people not choosing that iOS is the first OS to get most apps, and in many cases the only.  Accepting less than you want gives the upper hand to people who don’t deserve it.          Free Will 2012

  • ItsMrS

    Really??  the ONE benefit of a blackberry???  Ill informed biased statements like that are a perfect example of WHY people call us rabid fanbois.  

  • JoshuaTewell

     @ItsMrS Word.

  • john doe

    I want that SMart thermostate called Nest!!! That sucker looks sweeeet.

  • TiP_Cam

     @ItsMrS Can you think of anything else it does better than iPhone? iOS has more apps, better media management, cleaner and quicker OS, simpler UI… the list goes on. I’ve kept a BlackBerry by my side for the past few years, but, it’s only because I love to keep work emails mobile, and use a physical QWERTY keyboard. If it didn’t have the keyboard, I wouldn’t have it 

  • Andriod User

    no matter what they do to the iPhone. its always going to be a pile of crap. a turd. not even a floater.

  • CuriousGeorge

    ummm why are you on an iPhone website if you don’t even like it? you’re just a troll

  • BrainRoopull

    No keyboard is the primary reason I won’t consider an iPhone.  Even if they fixed the other issues I have with it, the no-keyboard thing is a deal breaker for me.  I constantly run across people who think they can type just as fast on their iPhones or Swype enabled Androids/WP7s, but it’s just a fantasy.  There is no replacement for a GOOD physical keyboard.  HTCs are generally excellent.  Then again, a phone with a crappy physical keyboard is a nightmare.The capacitive multitouch screens are what made the on-screen keyboards passable, but they also made the stylus unusable.  This means that the screen MUST be larger to be usable.  It’s ironic that this fact is one of the reasons people leave the iPhone…  typing on that tiny screen is frustrating.   

  • iPhone changed the face of the smartphone market, thanks to its lack of buttons and incredible touchscreen.

  • BrianT

    It would not be a bad idea but like I have always thought apple should release two designs each year, one should be like they have out currently and another that can be the test dummy in design. They could have one that is the safe one like this years model the 4s and another and have it witha physical keyboard or a bigger screen maybe both or even some totally different design like maybe one that resembles the iPod . I just think it would be better for the consumer to have two versions of the iPhone to choose from each year rather than just color and storage size.

  • skibum

    The panacea for me is that Apple buys RIM.  Then, let’s see them issue a Bold running iOS.  No Curves or Pearls, just a Bold with a couple of memory upgrades.

  • ItsMrS

    @TiP_Cam @ItsMrS Actually Yes. I can. And the main reason I keep my blackberry alongside my ipad/iPhone combo. 1. It is far more secure of a device. I work in it at a fortune 500. And we have a highly structured policy regarding its usage. Let’s face it the platform still isn’t ,azure enough to be a challenger in the enterprise market.

    2. Apps are fine and dandy if your phone is a plaything. And as for ultimate tasking forget it. iPhone STILL. Does not have true multi tasking. Blackberry has had that for a decade. You’d think Cupertino would show us some love already. It’s not as if the device isn’t capable of it.

    And media management on an iPhone….. Give me a break. See we have a pretty interface. But I don’t. Ow what version of its you are on. Media management on its is horrid. Pitting a slick UI on top of it doesn’t fool anyone (or maybe it does)


  • letkerdes

    Yes, definetivly! The only thing why I do not have an Iphone is the lack of physical keyboard!!!