Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Nov 2013 22:50 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I bought a Droid 4 twenty-one months ago.

As a devout user of physical QWERTY keyboards, I'm pretty sure I'm screwed.

Great article by Sean Hollister on the demise of the QWERTY slider. In the article, Hollister speaks with Doug Kaufman, manager of handset strategy for Sprint, and his revelations are intriguing - it's not so much that people do not want hardware keyboards; it's that people want iconic, flagship phones - like the S4, like the 5S - with huge marketing pushes. Since nobody is pushing a flagship QWERTY slider... Nobody buys them. However, when you ask consumers what they want, physical keyboards are very, very popular.

And so, Kaufman admits: if there was an HTC One or Galaxy S4, a top-of-the-line phone, but with a keyboard - it would sell.

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RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 20th Nov 2013 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12


Nope. VX Connectbot (the best SSH client out there) includes keyboard mappings for quite a few keyboard sliders phone. These mappings give you access to every key on a normal keyboard. On the Xperia Pro, you have access to everything via either normal keypress, CTRL+keypress, Alt+keypress, or Sym+keypress (CTRL, ALT work the same as on a normal keyboard). IOW, never more than 3 key presses (normally only 2 unless you need to CTRL/ALT+symbol) to access any symbol on a keyboard (including tab, pipe, tilde, etc). Compare that to a virtual keyboard where you have to long-press keys or flip screens or whatever.


I think you are on a voyage away from the average man that is taking you further and further. No company will see this as a reason to release a phone with physical keyboard.


Which is quicker:
1. Pull phone from pocket, start app, start typing, or
2. Pull laptop out of bag, turn on, wait for boot, login, wait for network, start app, start typing?


It depends if the laptop is sleeping or turned off, but perhaps more important how much work you are going to do.

If I ran an IT company with thousands of customers I wouldn't sleep well on the idea one of my administrators is editing files on a mobile phone.


Also, my phone is with me 24/7. My laptop is rarely with me unless I specifically need it where I'm going.

Which is bulkier:
1. A phone in my pocket, or
2. A separate backpack to carry the laptop + gear?


The phone is obviously less bulkier, but how many times do you actually need to SSH? Couldn't it wait? And for the quick edit wouldn't a touch screen work as well? If the extra money you need to pay for the keyboard be worth the small extra convenience for the times you need it?

I used to have a PocketPC with a keyboard for this reason. Never used it, only to try if it works.


And the person with the knife will probably survive a street fight in a dark alley (aka unexpected emergency in the data centre while out-of-the office) compared to the person who has to put their toolbox down, scrounge around in it for the right tool, etc.


A swiss phone is probably of much more use for emergency administration than a swiss knife in a street fight. A swiss knife's blade isn't very long nor does it lock. You'd have a hard time even penetrating clothing. I'd grab the hammer from the toolbox, but never mind that.

When you won't accept that there are legitimate uses for one, you are a hater.


I hope you don't think like that or you'd probably hate a lot of things, which is not healthy.

I do accept the legitimate use of a physical keyboard, I just don't think it outweighs the downsides and that a virtual keyboard is good enough to bear the inconvenience.

But I don't build those devices, manufactures do. And SSH'ing to do remote system administration isn't something so many people do that manufactures will think it's worthwhile to make a device.

People who do a lot of messaging may like one, but as people here mentioned it needs to be a phone with a physical keyboard that doesn't suck. And are people willing to pay for it, because it adds to the price so you can get a better phone without a keyboard for the same price.

A lof of people, probably most, have never used a phone with a physical keyboard. They don't know any better. To them such a phone will look weird and strange.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Wed 20th Nov 2013 18:08 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

A lof of people, probably most, have never used a phone with a physical keyboard. They don't know any better. To them such a phone will look weird and strange.

Most? Oh come on, there wasn't that many years since the domination of 12-button keyboards...

Reply Parent Score: 2