iPhone 2.0: Part One, A Physical Keyboard

by Hadley Stern May 14, 2008

Apple's next iteration of the iPhone is eagerly awaited by everyone. And after using it for almost a year I have some wishes and observations. Some are mundane, some are controversial.

My guess is Part One of this will raise the ire of some out there. So be it.

But I can say, without a doubt that the most important thing for me in the next iteration of the iPhone will be a physical keyboard. I say this realizing that a lot of the physical allure of the current iPhone is made possible by the lack of a physical keyboard. I say this realizing that Steve Jobs has proudly shown off the lack of physical keyboard over-and-over again.

Most importantly, though, I say this as a user. It could be because I've used Blackberrys for years, but I have found myself writing less emails on an iPhone than I would on a Blackberry. A lot less. In fact, the feeling I get when I have to type anything of anything length on my iPhone is one of dread. I can actually type faster on my iPhone than on a Blackberry but not as comfortably. And that feeling of comfort means I generally avoid using my iPhone to type.

This, in-and-of-itself is not an iPhone killer over the long-term. Because, as we know, the iPhone is much more than an email device. (In fact, it may be a case where the sum is better than the parts. Power phone users [which will be a topic for another day...] note that the phone is lacking). But I doubt that what enabled the Blackberry to be termed the Crackberry by first-time users will be applied to the iPhone.

So how should Apple address this? Not by giving up on the touch-screen keyboard altogether but rather, like they have done with the iPod line, creating another version of the iPhone that has a physical keyboard. Steve Jobs has back-peddled many times, most notably on having video on an iPod, so the precedent is there.

What do you think, is the lack of a physical keyboard on the iPhone a huge deal to you?


  • You said:
    “I am sorry to say that I can’t type while driving on the iPhone, but I am able to do it on the 800w. I am able to feel the keys on the 800w to easily type without having to glance over so much.”

    I’m sorry too, especially for those who have to share the road with you.

    Howard Brazee had this to say on Nov 10, 2010 Posts: 54
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