What is with society's obsession with having a smartphone with a real keyboard? My father has a Blackberry Bold because, well, he has to for work, and the company offers it free. Before I bought my iPhone 3G, we used this as a 'family phone' more or less. If I had a soccer or tennis game out of town, I'd bring it to keep in contact with my parents, and I'd surf the internet somewhat and text friends a bit (okay; a lot) to pass the time. Now, having an iPhone 3G, I love the virtual keyboard. I don't understand the hatecrime against it. Yes, it does take some getting used to, that's true, but after a week (or two at maximum) you should be a master of the virtual keyboard. Practicality The first positive I see is the obvious one, Blackberry, Palm, and other smartphones have keyboards there when they're not even needed. I'm watching 'Cars' on my dad's Blackberry Bold, the keyboard is of zero use, and just gets in the way of a potentially larger screen, to enjoy the video more. Not with an iPhone! It's only there when you need it, I'm watching a movie, it's gone. I'm texting a friend, it's there. Why have it active when it doesn't need to be? The iPhone's keyboard seems to be a *massive* step into the future when it comes to practicality. How do you write in Japanese on a Blackberry efficiently? What about drawing Japanese characters? Nuh-uh. All in all, having the ability to customize when you need something or not seems a lot more advanced than having it there whenever you don't even need it. Speed Ah ha! "But Doju, you can't type as fast on an iPhone as with a real keyboard!" you argue. Wrong, in my opinion at least. Having been an avid texter on a Blackberry Bold, I know my way around typing, and I know this train of thought very well, I even shared it for quite awhile. But, the Blackberry has significantly smaller keys than the iPhone, and that's just in portrait mode. The iPhone's keyboard is 'smart' too, as Jobs said, and that it will almost help you write a word and find the write key. Can plastic keys do this? Nuh-uh. And again, put 'er on landscape, and you just blew the Blackberry out of the water. Taking some tests, I average 12 WPM faster on my iPhone than I do with my dad's BB Bold. And that's not even in landscape. Conclusion Why does everyone want it? iPhone's keyboard is much more practical, and much faster. What more is there?