Originally Posted by sheff
There will never be an iPhone with a physical keyboard. Perhaps a larger or smaller screen but never a physical keyboard.
Well the advantage of a foldout keyboard would give Apple the ability to reduce the size of the screen and with that, smaller battery, thinner, lighter. If the new phone is supposed to be inexpensive then we ought to look at the ipod lineup to understand what Apple may do. The iPod Nano would definitely be the analogous to a new category of iphone in that Apple created a premium line and a less expensive line. They're probably ready to that with the iPhone now.
What will it look like, who knows? We're just speculating on the rumor that the new phone might have a keyboard. If this were the case, why? There are reasons why this might happen and reducing component costs is one reason. The presence of a keyboard could imply a smaller screen that couldn't accommodate the virtual keyboard. Other rumors had us talking about a simpler interface akin to the ipod nano UI, which makes sense since we're talking about a less expensive iPhone.
With the nano, the screen is smaller, the apps are simpler, the function is simplified. There may still be a dev kit for simpler apps (streaming media, Nike apps etc) but it won't be an Iphone any more than the nano is a IPT.
Which features would you strip away from the iphone if you had to create one a different group of people would want? Seems like there are allot of people that want something simpler, less expensive, less cumbersome (physically and in usability) than an iphone. I would say that it's just as critical that Apple capture that audience as it did with the Ipod.