02-14-12 10:16 AM
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  1. ubizmo's Avatar
    The question isn't answered by us. It's answered by the rising generation of smartphone users who have no expectations of physical keyboards. Do they see them as an advantage or a curiosity? It may simply be that touch screen typing is becoming a skill that everyone learns, and nobody remembers a "preference" for physical keyboards.
    pantlesspenguin likes this.
    02-05-12 07:56 AM
  2. Alex_Hong's Avatar
    The question isn't answered by us. It's answered by the rising generation of smartphone users who have no expectations of physical keyboards. Do they see them as an advantage or a curiosity? It may simply be that touch screen typing is becoming a skill that everyone learns, and nobody remembers a "preference" for physical keyboards.
    I think that the preference for keyboard has taken a back seat. Now is the preference of screen size instead. When people choose to buy a new smartphone, they consider the ecosystem (apps, games...etc), screen size, specs... Most people wouldn't even include physical keyboard as part of the consideration for a new phone. Full touch screen devices are the norm now. Though I still feel that there will be a market for phones with physical keyboards, just a whole lot smaller than before.
    pantlesspenguin likes this.
    02-05-12 08:05 AM
  3. Mamaluka's Avatar
    I am always amazed that people bicker over such a personal choice as what an individual prefers to type on...its always a very foolish argument, backed often by no concrete facts...only individual claims, based on their own experience(s)
    momofteme likes this.
    02-05-12 01:22 PM
  4. TGR1's Avatar
    I am always amazed that people bicker over such a personal choice as what an individual prefers to type on...its always a very foolish argument, backed often by no concrete facts...only individual claims, based on their own experience(s)
    Well, Crackberry arguments certainly fall under that but it is also a real practical concern for the vendors and RIM in particular. If this group of users gets vanishingly small (a speculation on my part as no vendor AFAIK publishes this sort of info) not only does RIM's traditional customer base diminish but it also likely gets increasingly more expensive to support them.

    It's all very well for someone to say they will never give up a BB physical keyboard but if these customers make up only 0.01% of sales, well, RIM may be forced to make the decision for you.

    BTW, I don't believe they will disappear any time soon. Phones with keyboards instead of big touch screens can have considerable power saving advantages, don't suffer visibility issues in bright direct sunlight, and can be physically more robust. So there are potentially other minuses to touch screens that favour physical keyboards. Implementation to take advantage of these minuses is key, though.
    02-05-12 01:43 PM
  5. Alex_Hong's Avatar
    I am always amazed that people bicker over such a personal choice as what an individual prefers to type on...its always a very foolish argument, backed often by no concrete facts...only individual claims, based on their own experience(s)
    i dont think bicker is the right word to use here. every one here is just sharing their opinion and personal choices. no one is actually bickering as to which is better. as i've mentioned, it's ultimately a personal preference.
    02-05-12 06:31 PM
  6. _StephenBB81's Avatar
    I've always been of the opinion that hardware keyboards are like manual transmissions in cars. They offer better precision, control, and an overall better typing experience. They are appreciated and demanded by a minority amount of "purists", but they generally have fallen out of favour with the general public.

    There will always been room for hardware keyboards, but they will never dominate the smartphone market like it did before 2008. The touchscreen is the automatic transmission.

    Great way to put it.

    I think touchscreens are the future of mass production smartphones, and internet devices like tablets, Notebooks and Keyboard based phones will take a back seat.


    People who's primary function is text based content creation will stick to the keyboards, those who's primary functions are consumption will move more to touchscreens, obviously with the few exceptions.

    And by a large margin people are consumers far more than creaters.
    why does the guy who uses is computer to read the news in the morning and watch youtube NEED a keyboard?
    02-05-12 06:41 PM
  7. Rootbrian's Avatar
    I doubt qwerty keyboards will go extinct. I love mine, I can't stand typing on a touch screen.
    recompile likes this.
    02-05-12 07:13 PM
  8. ubizmo's Avatar
    The question of whether we like physical keyboards is a matter of personal preference; the question of whether they are a dying breed isn't.

    I like the hardware keyboard, but that in itself doesn't mean anything. People may like them a lot, but in order to have one, you have to put up with either a smaller screen or some sort of slider/swivel. I had a SideKick for three years, with the trademark swivel screen. I didn't mind it, but when I switched to the Curve 8320 I suddenly discovered that I liked having a compact one-piece phone. The SideKick LX keyboard was beautiful--the best I've seen on any mobile device--but in the end other considerations trumped it, for me.

    Expectations keep changing, but the success of iPhones, all with the same form factor, should tell us something. It doesn't tell us that people don't like physical keyboards, but it tells us that they like other things enough not to insist on those keyboards, just as Alex_Hong wrote above. And we know that plenty of people can learn to do text entry very quickly and accurately on touch screens. That, in turn, suggests that it's those of us who claim that we could never do without a physical keyboard who are the dying breed. We may be like those who insisted that nothing could ever take the place of the BB trackwheel.

    My guess is that physical keyboards will be around for a while longer, but their star is setting. More people want other things from smartphones, and most of those things involve larger screens. And they want thin phones with solid "build feel". Apple has taught people to want that.

    I think Microsoft gets it. They seem to understand that Apple redefined the smartphone, and the current generation of Mango phones reflect that understanding, imitating what's good about the iPhone and adding their own spin on it, including a smooth interface and well thought-out touch screen keyboard. I think their star is rising.
    Last edited by ubizmo; 02-06-12 at 08:37 AM.
    02-06-12 08:19 AM
  9. tmelon's Avatar
    Saying that physical keyboards aren't dying is absolutely ridiculous. A couple year one of the major selling points for Android was the huge variety of designs with landscape keyboards, portrait keyboards, slide out keyboards, etc and now 99% of them are all full touch. Lots of people would rather have a large screen that they would use all the time than a physical keyboard taking up half of their device that they only use sometimes.

    Almost every phone on the market right now is full touch and I see RIM adapting that for BB10. Sure there's going to be people who prefer keyboards, but my prediction is that they'll be out of luck in the upcoming years.
    02-06-12 05:06 PM
  10. Alex_Hong's Avatar
    maybe the thread title should read, "Are Physical Keyboard Users A Dying Breed?"
    ubizmo made a very good point. which makes me wonder, will the physical keyboard users switch before phone makers stop making phones with physical keyboard? Or will phone makers stop making phones with physical keyboards forcing physical keyboard users to switch? Which doesn't really matter i suppose. haha.
    13echo4 likes this.
    02-06-12 06:36 PM
  11. syb0rg's Avatar
    At one point I said I'd never go to a touch screen. But honestly now I font think I could go back. I can type faster now than ever. But to answer the OPs original question. No, they will always be around.

    Sent from my HTC Glacier using Tapatalk
    02-06-12 06:57 PM
  12. SRR500's Avatar
    ...honestly now I font think I could go back. I can type faster ...
    Faster maybe but what about accurately.


    Just kidding, I've made the same type of typo with a keyboard.
    momofteme and 13echo4 like this.
    02-06-12 07:32 PM
  13. tjioer's Avatar
    I had an iPhone 3G and hated typing on the screen so much. But here's the thing: back in 2008 very few people uses data on their phones. I only had 100MB data plan on the 3G. Meaning I don't type except for the occasional SMSes.

    Then I moved to BB 9700. My whole conception of using a smart phone literally changed overnight. My fingers were in heaven, typing furiously to my cousins on BBM. I thought BB was the best thing ever.

    Slowly this changed when hardware problems haunted the 9700 and onwards to the 9800. 10 years of owning cell phones and BB was the only one who gave me grief.

    Back to Apple I went. I missed BBM and the LED light but I've been using WhatsApp and it's okay. I can type faster than I was on BB. I think people just haven't given touch screen long enough to adjust. Give it a couple of months. When you are forced to use it, you will adjust. And in this case, for the better.

    Of course there are some exception like people who type one handed, though I can't imagine why.
    02-06-12 07:36 PM
  14. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    I type one-handed on a touchscreen often (with Swype).
    02-06-12 07:44 PM
  15. dave1701's Avatar
    I had an iPhone 3G and hated typing on the screen so much. But here's the thing: back in 2008 very few people uses data on their phones. I only had 100MB data plan on the 3G. Meaning I don't type except for the occasional SMSes.

    Then I moved to BB 9700. My whole conception of using a smart phone literally changed overnight. My fingers were in heaven, typing furiously to my cousins on BBM. I thought BB was the best thing ever.

    Slowly this changed when hardware problems haunted the 9700 and onwards to the 9800. 10 years of owning cell phones and BB was the only one who gave me grief.

    Back to Apple I went. I missed BBM and the LED light but I've been using WhatsApp and it's okay. I can type faster than I was on BB. I think people just haven't given touch screen long enough to adjust. Give it a couple of months. When you are forced to use it, you will adjust. And in this case, for the better.

    Of course there are some exception like people who type one handed, though I can't imagine why.

    But I shouldn't be forced to adjust. I should want to because of the greater efficiency of touch screens and greater ease of use. I don't think that's the case as of now. They are great for playing angry birds, but for things like SMS, Email and BBM I think that physical keyboards still win out in ease of use, speed and accuracy.
    Last edited by dave1701; 02-06-12 at 07:58 PM.
    02-06-12 07:55 PM
  16. thecsman's Avatar
    Although the touchscreen is favoured these days, I still see room for qwerty keyboard smartphones, as long as they also adapt. I see a BB Bold in the future with a larger display and higher resolution, probably 2/3 in length as that of current smartphones like the iphone or the galaxy. That would be a sweet spot for consuming media (games/video/photographs) and still enjoy brutalizing the keyboard. =)

    The BB Bold has its own personality, so as long as it performs as good as the other smartphones, it will be a notch better, in my opinion.

    Oh, btw, typing on the PlayBook in portrait mode resembles the thumb typing on the keyboard BlackBerrrys. I find that entertaining, no shortcuts, though.
    02-06-12 09:06 PM
  17. ADozenEggs@aol.com's Avatar
    Coming from the Palm 650, 700, 755p the Palm Pre I thought I would never act to a TS kb. A year later and I would hate going back to a physical kb.

    This thread reminds me of when I worked in Strategic Planning at Chase Bank and they were getting rid of of "0" option on the customer service line.

    Customers complained mightily, but eventually got used to using the voice response unit and online banking to complete their banking needs. Change is hard for some and others just go eith the flow, but we all adapt when necessary.

    Or, at least, some of us do.

    Cheers!
    02-06-12 09:43 PM
  18. juliankueh's Avatar
    Love the physical keyboard. Wouldn't buy a phone without one. Gave virtual keyboard a good go (1yr) and never warmed up to it.
    02-06-12 10:01 PM
  19. paddyberrybold's Avatar
    I doubt qwerty keyboards will go extinct. I love mine, I can't stand typing on a touch screen.
    I agree. I used to have a touch screen phone but had to ditch it. It wasn't responsive enough for me and I was forever hitting delete or return when I was aiming for the M key!

    I e-mail a lot from my BlackBerry and being able to touch the buttons is a godsend. I read an interview with a British soccer player who wrote a 50,000 word book on his Blackberry Bold today who said similar something similar. I'm not sure I could write that much on my phone though, my fingers would blister
    02-07-12 07:30 AM
  20. 13echo4's Avatar
    I dont think the keyboard on smartphones is going anywhere. Rim took the right step in adding a touch only device.
    It has nothing to do with evolving. For 100 or so yrs we have been driving cars. Theres just things you can do with keyboard you cant without. I.E shortcuts. They just dont work on a virtual keyboard.
    02-07-12 09:04 AM
  21. syb0rg's Avatar
    Faster maybe but what about accurately.


    Just kidding, I've made the same type of typo with a keyboard.


    As accurate? Maybe not by SwiftKey fixes those for me.

    Sent from my fingers to you eye socket using my Cyanogen powered Android.
    02-07-12 09:34 AM
  22. palmless's Avatar
    As accurate? Maybe not by SwiftKey fixes those for me.
    Is it running now?
    13echo4 and addicted44 like this.
    02-07-12 09:53 AM
  23. 13echo4's Avatar
    I type one-handed on a touchscreen often (with Swype).
    I type one handed on my 9800/9860 one-handed without swype.
    02-07-12 10:01 AM
  24. DenverRalphy's Avatar
    Theres just things you can do with keyboard you cant without. I.E shortcuts. They just dont work on a virtual keyboard.
    That's because the shortcuts aren't needed on a virtual keyboard. A properly designed UI for a touchscreen device already has your shortcuts implemented via gestures, long-presses, etc..
    02-07-12 10:49 AM
  25. 13echo4's Avatar
    That's because the shortcuts aren't needed on a virtual keyboard. A properly designed UI for a touchscreen device already has your shortcuts implemented via gestures, long-presses, etc..
    yes and no. Lets taking forwarding a message for example. True enough with a touchscreen you can hover and the menu comes comes up. Select forward. With a keyboard hit "f" and thats that. Theres shortcuts in the keyboard thats not on the touchscreen UI. I'm sorry there just not there. I.E reset, and log.
    I agree with you that the blackberry touch UI did a good job putting most of the shortcuts at the touch of a finger. The UI just cant handle all of them imho.
    02-07-12 10:58 AM
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