Apple Testing iPhones with Physical Keyboards?

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    TheRegister.co.uk claims that Apple is currently circulating prototype iPhones with physical keyboards amongst some mobile carriers to gauge demand for such a device.
    The author believes that despite Steve Jobs' open criticism of the fixed buttons on existing smart phones, that he is currently exploring keyboarded iPhones. The design is said to be a "slider" type design where the keyboard would slide out behind the screen. The reason for the interest is an attempt to further penetrate the enterprise market where physical keyboards are the norm.
    Of course, even if such prototypes exist, there's no guarantee that Apple will actually release such a design.

    Article Link
     
  2. BVGuitarPlayer macrumors regular

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    Let's hope these execs put it on ebay, for the sake of seeing what the heck it looks like. Why? Because we're all obsessed nerds here.
     
  3. caliguy macrumors 6502

    caliguy

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    I had problems with the iPhone keyboard for about a week. I don't think a physical keyboard is very necessary.

    The iPhone's keyboard is easy enough to get used to - especially with the auto-correcting.
     
  4. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

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    #4
    I won't get one. I'm such a fan of the ".com" button and all the other clever things the soft keybaord can do.

    Haptic? Sure. Physical? pass.
     
  5. dfnj123 macrumors 6502a

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  6. Loge macrumors 68030

    Loge

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    #6
    I'd rather see the ability to use a BT keyboard with the existing iPhone. Any built in keyboard is likely to be too small to be really useful.
     
  7. bc008 macrumors 68000

    bc008

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    #7
    care to explain what haptic is?
     
  8. carve macrumors 6502a

    carve

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    meh. I will never go back to actual keys. I like the virtual keys, way more possibilities.
     
  9. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

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    Keyboard or no, it will likely be a hit. The problem is that rather than being a trend setter, Apple risks being a trend follower.
     
  10. carve macrumors 6502a

    carve

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    When you touch a key if gives off a slight vibration
     
  11. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

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    Interesting, adds more to the rumors of more than one model of iphone being developed.
    I don't think its necessary personally, but i guess they'd be several models, just like the ipod branched out as it increased in popularity.
     
  12. haztastic1 macrumors newbie

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    I think the iPhone needs a physical keyboard - at least to give us a choice of one with it. The only reason some of my friends won't get one is because of the lack of a proper keyboard. When you need to use the type the most - Email and SMS - you cant even rotate the screen so you have to make-do with the tiny keys. After almost a year of use I'm still frustrated with it. I typed much faster even with the old fashioned number keys of conventional mobiles.
     
  13. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Simulated (or real) physical feedback from a virtual interface. In other words, a virtual keyboard you can "feel" the keys on in some way. Can be as simple as the device vibrating a bit when you press a key, or could get to the point where you could actually run your fingers over the keys and feel them (we're not to that point yet, but vibration or other sensations can be somewhat location-specific, so tied to a specific key on the virtual keyboard and feels like it's coming from that spot on the screen).

    jW
     
  14. tk421 macrumors 6502a

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    My biggest problem with a keyboard is the space it takes up. Either it makes the screen smaller, or, in the case of slide out (or spin) keyboards, it makes the whole phone a bit larger and a bit less elegant.
     
  15. dizastor macrumors 6502a

    dizastor

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    Let's hope the keys aren't plastic...

    Or else everyone will pick apart Steve's keynote speech where he disses plastic keys on stage. :)
     
  16. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    the phone would vibrate every time you press a key to sort of simulate a physical key press.
     
  17. Shadowriver macrumors member

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  18. AlphaAnt macrumors regular

    AlphaAnt

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    #18
    Plus, moving parts = easily broken.
     
  19. gifford macrumors 6502

    gifford

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    #19
    bollox. it wont happen, not in any traditional sense anyhow.

    I hate theRegister, full of ********s. It's like The Sun newspaper (trashy headline tabloid) for the IT world. Mindless geeks with no souls.
     
  20. ideapower macrumors member

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    Finally!!!! If Apple doesn't do this, some third party manufacturer needs to make a separate bluetooth keyboard.
     
  21. SAMTATSICPRO macrumors regular

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    Thats like making a word processor that works then saying... oh you know what? lets just use a type writer. LOL I doubt Apple would take steps back after they made the keyboard work so well.
     
  22. Rojo macrumors 65816

    Rojo

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    #22
    Yes, it's probably true that Apple might sell a few more phones if they had physical keyboards. But I still don't see it ever happening. It would be a major step backwards for them. Apple KNOWS their virtual keyboard is the way of the future, and that it opens up a world of possibilities -- they're not going to cave in and change all the innovation they've done so far for the few ignorant people who won't even give a virtual keyboard a chance.
     
  23. jackfrost123 macrumors 6502

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    Sometimes the ratings on the topics here at macrumors are really, really strange, why this story gets a 4/24 positive to negative is a mystery to me...is it because people would prefer the novelty of their keyboardless iphones...who knows...
     
  24. speedbumpnv macrumors 6502

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    #24
    a smaller non PDA style phone (candy bar or flip) would need a traditional fixed key design. there is no way to make a usable touchscreen interface on a small phone. physical buttons are required.
    perhaps an iPhone nano?
     
  25. Stang68 macrumors 6502a

    Stang68

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    #25
    Notice how the article states that they wont say which carriers have the prototype? Its because its a CDMA version! Thats right, the Verizon iPhone is going to have a physical keyboard! I dont know if Im happy about that...:confused:
     

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