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RIM was right - people want their physical QWERTY phones

Posted: , by Ray S.

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RIM was right - people want their physical QWERTY phones
It turns out that the physical QWERTY is not dead. Quite the contrary - people seem to demand such handsets, judging by the answers in the poll that we ran last week.

Of all people who voted in the poll, 801, or 65.98% said that they see the physical QWERTY keyboard as an absolute plus. A much smaller group of 413 people, or 34.02% of all votes, claimed that there's no longer place on the market for handsets with such keyboards. This comes to show that for many users out there, the on-screen virtual keyboards of today aren't good enough to replace the accuracy and comfort of the real thing.

It's true, of course, that virtual keyboard provide many conveniences such as easy customization, different language layouts, various input methods and so on, but at least for now, it seems that they are still lagging behind their physical counterparts as far as comfort goes.

Phonearena polls
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Is there a future for a BlackBerry device with a physical QWERTY keyboard
65.98%
801 votes
(801 votes) QWERTY all the way!
34.02%
413 votes
(413 votes) QWERTY is dead.

1214 votes

59 Comments
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posted on 11 Feb 2013, 07:47 6

1. mohammed2222 (Posts: 27; Member since: 07 Feb 2013)


dead.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 08:16 2

8. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


QWERTY is dying because majority of people doesn't feel a need for it and manufacturers before manufacturing something always makes analisis about people's needs and when manufacturers see that it won't be popular, then they just don't focusing on manufacturing high-end smartphones with a QWERTY keyboards because it doesn't worth from business perspective.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 09:59 4

15. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5482; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


did you not read the article?

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:45

27. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Yes, I did so what?

Votes are collected only in phonearena.com and voted only 1214 user, it is ain't indicator.
I have read almost all comments after voting and my impression is that majority misunderstood for what they voted.

posted on 12 Feb 2013, 21:31

55. miles16852 (Posts: 189; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


you do realize the industry does not care about your worthless opinion,, now go bury your head in the sand!

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:53

29. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


For example you, you talk like you are lover of QWERTY keyboards, but when I click on your profile, between "Want it" and "Have it" I don't see nor one device with a physical QWERTY keyboard, the same with "Had it", much more than a half devices don't have physical QWERTY keyboard.
And such people like you shouts "We love QWERTY, QWERTY is awesome, QWERTY is not dieing, blah blah blah..."

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 17:23

46. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5482; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


xD that doesn't mean i don't prefer devices with QWERTY keyboards. there just haven't been any good ones as of late. the Droid 3 is my second favorite phone of all time.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 11:04 2

31. Commentator (Posts: 2180; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


I'm starting to wonder if the editor who posted the poll actually read the poll itself. The question is "is there a future for a Blackberry device with a physical QWERTY keyboard," and the answers are vague, polarizing, and vernacular to the point that they barely answer the question asked. If I were to answer the question honestly, I'd say yes, there is a future for BLACKBERRY devices with physical QWERTYs, so I would have no choice to choose the... cleverly... worded... "QWERTY all the way! (roflroflrofl I'm a 12 yr old boii!!!)" answer as opposed to the "QWERTY is dead (I'm an emo 12 yr old boii)" answer.

What I wouldn't mean by my answer, RAY, is that a "physical QWERTY keyboard is an absolute plus." Rather, I would mean that it has its benefits on Blackberry devices alone, considering their history of great keyboards, and I wouldn't even mean it is an ABSOLUTE plus in this instance, because there are ALWAYS trade-offs.

In short, this poll is useless and confusing enough to make me believe it was meant to troll people like me who will post a three-paragraph response (incl. conclusion) in critique of it.
QED.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 17:33

47. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5482; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


it really all comes down to whether phones have evolved enough to transcend the need for QWERTY keyboards. Blackberry is just the most iconic example and being that they're at a crossroads now it's interesting to see that their stance of offering physical QWERTY keyboards are still strong despite the mainstream being overrun with mostly touchscreen-only devices which i think is admirable and smart because tbh if i were to get either one of the new Blackberry devices it would be the Q10 because it's different yet practical and very capable, a real breath of fresh air. RIM wasn't the only one to offer good QWERTY devices either, Motorola had a good thing going with the Droid 3, 4 & the Photon Q. if there were a Droid 5 i'd have it. i even just helped a friend get a Droid 3 because she wanted a phone with a good physical QWERTY. she should have it by tomorrow.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:12

19. isprobi (Posts: 117; Member since: 30 May 2011)


So where is your survey that proves the one sighted in this article is wrong?

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:58 1

30. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


What survey???

To see that QWERTY is dieing you don't need any surveys, just look at flagship smartphones released in the past few yers from various manufactures, how much QWERTY's do you see???

posted on 12 Feb 2013, 21:30

54. miles16852 (Posts: 189; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


you need a shrink!

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:15 1

20. donfem (Posts: 480; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


What is your definition of "majority"? Probably includes you, your friends and family?

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:34

23. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


First of all, I see more people around me than only my friends and family.
Secon, look at other statistics, statistics of most selling smartphones and other similar statistics, how much snartphones with a QWERTY keyboards you see there???

posted on 12 Feb 2013, 16:17 1

52. rex1213 (Posts: 77; Member since: 29 Jul 2011)


Your repetitive bashing of QWERTY-based devices annoy me. Even a lot of my bosses don't like the fact that most high-end devices that are popular right now don't include physical QWERTY keyboards.

And what "business-perspective" are you talking about when QWERTY-based phones are the most business-oriented phones around? The reason why most people (especially executives) want QWERTY phones is because, they receive loads of emails and text messages from their co-workers and colleagues, and they need to reply to them even while they are on the go. Like it or not, but the speed and accuracy of typing on a hardware keyboard is still miles ahead than on-screen keyboards.

I'm sorry, but it doesn't mean that just because you don't need QWERTY-based devices does not mean everyone else don't need them.

posted on 12 Feb 2013, 21:29

53. miles16852 (Posts: 189; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


truth is, YOUR DYING!

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:06 1

17. Synack (Posts: 641; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


I really don't understand why 2/3 of you are into those physical keyboards. Do all of you just have old boring ass qwerty thickphones? Have you only had these qwerty phones and nothing else?

Basically it goes like this. When you first have a qwerty phone, you think its the s**t for texting and want to hold onto it. But once you finally give in to a full touch phone; NOBODY EVER GOES BACK TO QWERTY.

I've convinced 6 of my friends to go to full touch. They hated it the first week and by the end of the 2nd week they thank me for converting them.

Qwerty phone - thicker, uglier, smaller screen sometimes, usually need to use 2 hands to type.

Full touch - usually thin, great looking, full screen, need only one hand to type.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:18

22. isprobi (Posts: 117; Member since: 30 May 2011)


I have a Galaxy Note ant the typing experience is pretty good on that large 5.3 inch screen. And the Swiftkey prediction is very good. But I still find myself touching the wrong key quite often and just accidentally touching something on the screen I did not intend to touch. If I could get a 4.5 inch or larger touchscreen with slide out QWERTY that would be awesome. The decision to buy a Q10 with a screen just over 3 inches is a bit harder. But given the metal phrame and premium quality back door it looks inticing.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 12:13 1

37. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Apparently you and your friends have small to average hand size.. since "Thick" phones are an issue..

As for small screens and uglier.. WRONG..

http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Dell-Venue-Pro_id4595

Yes thicker, and a bit heavier.. But great battery life, physical keyboard when you need it, and a 4.1" screen with gorilla glass.

Personally I feel its only a little thicker, and heavier.. but easy to hold. With average to large hands. I have tried using a 8x, and Nokia 810 and even with the great WindowsPhone virtual keyboard I have far to many typos due to my finger size. So I went and bought a new Dell Venue Pro to replace the 8x I got. I simply have to have a QWERTY and I know a lot of others. Especailly if you type long emails or use the phone for emails.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 13:44

41. ibap (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


Thick phones matter mostly to someone trying to shove their phone into a pocket in tight pants. If you're carryinig it in a purse or bag, it is much less of an issue.

There's a reason all those iPhones end up dropping into toilets, and it isn't just because the owners are so uncouth that they've got to grab the phone while it is ringing while they're in the loo.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 07:54 4

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6616; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I type 5x faster on a on screen keyboard than I do on a physical keyboard so I can live without one. Many people I know, prefer the keyboard, especially on the G2 and HTC MyTouch Slide.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 07:58 2

3. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Got my hands one a friend's T-Mobile G1 today and I gotta say I love the physical keyboard. I wouldn't mind a new thin high end smartphone with a slide out keyboard.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 08:00 3

4. ibap (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


Not dead. And it depends on how much typing you do. A ton of SMS with content of "yep", "ok", "nope", or "roflmao" doesn't add up to several long, work-related, emails. Note the first comment above from mohammed2222. No capitalization, and I'm surprised there is a period. Oh wait, the period only takes one tap, while capitalizing a letter takes two.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:38

25. Synack (Posts: 641; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Yes, auto correct will make long bouts of typing much easier.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 12:14 1

38. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Yea.. it works.. "awesome"

http://www.autocorrectfail.org/

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 08:05

6. rusticguy (Posts: 2810; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Depends on age group.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 08:30 2

10. FireDragon (Posts: 107; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)


More like depends on requirements.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 08:06 5

7. gd761 (Posts: 94; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


We the customers DO WANT OUR QWERTY KEYBOARDS!

I WANT on My Next Windows Phone to be Just like the HTC ARRIVE from Sprint, but with one thing different, a LARGER Screen. Either a 5 or 5.5" Screen.

The Keyboard on the Front of the phone makes the Screen too small to really Enjoy it for what it could be.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 09:15

12. Lboogey6 (Posts: 244; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


is typing on a screen that much more difficult?

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:00 1

16. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5482; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


it's not difficult but typing on a keyboard is much better.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 11:58 1

34. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Yes.. ESPECIALLY for those of us with large fingers.. with on screen keyboards I often hit the wrong key, because my fingers overlap the key. Not a problem with a QWERTY pad, where I FEEL each key. Its just that simple.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 08:25 5

9. FireDragon (Posts: 107; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)


Another of my "I said so" moment. Of course people want QWERTY, a good one. The only reason people are/were not buying QWERTY devices is there are not much of those anymore and available option are push out as low-spec devices.

Hardware keyboard is not only about speed and accuracy but the unmatch feature is "Blind" typing with speed and accuracy.

I think I made a concept for Sony Ericsson 3 (or 2) years with larger Square screen, today if anyone notice, BlackBerry is going with the Square screen, that gives much better option instead of small 2.5 or 2.5 screen currently used in such forms.

Concept 2/3 years ago:http://www.nomasla.net/data/portfolio/img/se-swift-2.jpg
Recent Concept for BlackBerry:http://www.nomasla.net/data/reviews-articles/img/concept-blackberry-q.jpg

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 12:03 1

35. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Don't forget the HTC trophy (not the Verizon version) prototype artwork that was floating around.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Will-the-HTC-Trophy-be-a-prize_id9296

I want this ^^^^^

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 12:39

39. FireDragon (Posts: 107; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)


Yes, I liked that one too.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 09:13

11. Lboogey6 (Posts: 244; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


they say that now until they have to use it for more than a month and realize its not really that great i have people come in all the time and say how much they don't use the key board anymore when they have the option of both and as for blackberry style keyboard we have become more media driven so such a tiny screen plus to me it seems like there is more room for error with a physical keyboard since on screen can disappear

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 09:16

13. Lboogey6 (Posts: 244; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


lol realizing i use swype like no ones business soo i guess im just much more comfortable

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 14:05 1

43. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 441; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Swype sucks

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 09:54 1

14. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)


I personally miss having a good sliding keyboard option, I think the slight bump in thickness is well worth having 100 % of your screen when you type, plus the convenience when gaming! Thing is, there are currently (haven't been for a while imo) no viable choices! But that's just me

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:07 1

18. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 485; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)


I use to hate all on-screen typing. The iPhone screen in particular is just too small and not always responsive. However, the Windows Phone keyboard and some Android models aren't so bad.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:16 1

21. kindlefireowner (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


The Q10 will be successful for Blackberry. Not 2005/2006 successful, but there is a need there that Blackberry could fill. They picked the right screen size and it looks like they put a big enough battery in it. I would buy a Q10. There touchscreen phone will not be that successful because there are simply better options available.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:36 3

24. isprobi (Posts: 117; Member since: 30 May 2011)


Why someone might want a physical QWERTY keyboard:
1 On screen keyboards do not always pop up when you want them to.
2. The on screen keyboard taks up so much screen that you end up with no more viewable space than a Q10 screen.
3. You can type without having to look to find each letter.
4. It is easier to hold a phone by the physical keyboard than trying to hold a touch screen phone without accidentally touching the screen.
5 Nobody will mistake it for an iPhone.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:43 1

26. archangel9 (Posts: 230; Member since: 07 Feb 2010)


Both can learn to co exist.When I had BBs,the comfort of the QWERTY keyboard and accuracy was perfect.When I became part of the Android nation the touchscreen had to get a lil use to and it grows on you plus the benefit of having a large display i.e. 4.8", 5.3,and 5.5" even 3.7"(OG Droid).

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:45

28. simplyj (Posts: 404; Member since: 23 Dec 2009)


I'm still waiting to pick up a 9900. People still want ~$300 for it on eBay

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 12:08

36. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Dell Venue Pro new can be had on eBay for under $200 (around $150 on average) and can be upgraded to 7.8.. It's a great phone.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 18:35

50. simplyj (Posts: 404; Member since: 23 Dec 2009)


I have a HTC Radar, I hate Windows

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 11:04

32. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


I would like to have this blackberry as my next phone. I miss having a QWERTY phone and it would be nice to go back to it.

posted on 05 Jun 2013, 07:43

59. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


I may be following suit.. I am not a fan of BB10.. but its the ONLY High end QWERTY phone on the market.. and the only one in the last two years. Sad really. I was hoping the ASHA announcement by Nokia was for a QWERTY Lumia.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 11:55

33. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Duh.. I fully believe if the Dell Venue Pro was the "Premiere" phone for WP7 and sold at T-mobile and AT&T stores and Best Buy, you would have seen a better initial response for WP7. It is an absolutely perfect phone and form factor. With the new 7.8 its even better. MS is really really missing the boat by not getting a portrait QWERTY slider out there before the Q10 arrives..

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 13:18

40. dwillopp (Posts: 16; Member since: 08 Jul 2010)


For those who complain that their "fingers are too big for touch screen," consider this fact. The majority of NBA players use iPhones, they have the biggest hands in the world. The size of your fingers is not a problem, because you use different parts of each finger to tap different keys when typing (both virtual or physical). Learning how to utilize Swype will make anybody almost 10x more efficient than typing with a physical keyboard. Why are people typing "blind?" Besides sneaking a text while i'm in a meeting, not sure where the benefit comes from the ability to text blindy (Besides texting while driving, still dangerous).

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 17:45

49. downphoenix (Posts: 2232; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


swype is in no way faster than a keyboard. And even if it was, it definitely doesnt have the accuracy of tactile keys.

posted on 05 Jun 2013, 07:37

58. cdgoin (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


Swype with autofail, simply does not work for me. BTW.. I'm 6'3 and my hands are huge, so my hands ARE the size of a NBA player/NFL linebacker.. . I'm also sure NBA players are only tweeting.. "Cool Bro", lack communication skills, or use much punctuation. Doubt it.? Go look at their tweets. I on the other hand have to type long emails and texts for work and such. So unless your good at using a portrait (BB style) keyboard by feel, I wouldn't be so fast to state that swype is 10x more efficient. I can type 20 WPM on a portrait keyboard, not half that on screen, and as for accuracy.. swype w/ autofail is embarrassing.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 13:49 3

42. downphoenix (Posts: 2232; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


I'll reiterate how I feel about QWERTYs.

If manufacturers offer qwerty AND non qwerty versions of high end devices and whatever else they want to do, Im good with that. If they want to relegate QWERTY phones only to low and mid grade phones, then dont even bother. Customers who prefer QWERTY are just as demanding of their phones as those who have no preference or prefer non QWERTY, please stop giving us lower grade phones than non QWERTY customers. Why cant you do like for example, when Sprint gave us the Evo, then shortly after the Epic. The Epic was just as good, if not better in some regards, than the Evo was, but we got our precious QWERTY. Or the venerable DROID lineup, which started off as high end QWERTY smartphones.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 15:15 1

45. 14545 (Posts: 983; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Exactly. That's the only reason I left the HW KB phones for slates. It's because they won't give me a DECENT phone with a KB. Which is BS. I liked the D2 and my TP2. Both keyboard were great compared to these stupid auto correct fail BS. I would gladly trade for a decent KB phone any day with decent specs.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 15:08 2

44. 14545 (Posts: 983; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Qwerty's are still wanted. If I could get a Droid 4 like device with decent CURRENT specs, a good removable battery, and a decent screen w/o the locked Bootloader, I would be all over it. But the Manufacturers forced me off the qwerty phones because THEY made the decision they were dead. Not the market.

posted on 11 Feb 2013, 17:39

48. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5482; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


yesss, exactly! i'd give my MAXX HD up for a Droid 5. >>

posted on 12 Feb 2013, 11:29 1

51. crusher (Posts: 6; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Wish there were more qwerty's around, the problem is with iPhones sucess every company concluded that there is no market for qwerty phone but there are plenty who would like a good high end qwerty phone

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 08:49 1

56. gd761 (Posts: 94; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


For All of you that are In Love with Your Onscreen Keyboards, Do NOT try to Convince Us QWERTY Keyboard Lovers that Not having what we Love is Better, because it's NOT. At least NOT for Us.

You Love Your Non-QWERTY Keyboard Phones and We don't try to force you to change your mind, so STOP doing that to Us.

You Buy what You want and You Will most likely be happy with it. We are being FORCED to either Hold onto our Older QWERTY Keyboard Phones or get what We DON'T WANT, a Non-QWERTY Keyboard Phone and then We are Always Unhappy with being Forced to Buy what We Don't Want because there was No Other Choice to Choose from.

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 02:03 1

57. El_El (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)


Touch screen keyboard to do real work? Good luck with that. Try RDP'ing and constantly typing in remote consoles with an onscreen keyboard while utilizing complex passwords. Tell us how much real estate is left on the screen to display the remote console.

Onscreen keyboards are a joke. Most people with physical keyboards can type their own dialogue without depending on spell check or auto-correct. No wonder half of the population on the internet look like fools who have forgotten how to spell or the proper use of punctuation. It simply isn't convenient to constantly flip between screens to find the correct punctuation key. On my XT860 and other QWERTY devices, a simple Alt-key combo is much faster. No hunting and pecking required. Then again, ignorance is bliss for those touch screen fanatics who are grammatically and/or punctuation-ally challenged.

Good for you guys. I still want a physical keyboard.

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