Originally Posted by VanFruniken
Given how fast one can type on an iPhone keyboard it seems extremely unlikely that Apple would spend any energy on such a project.
Originally Posted by wizard69
You seem to want to equate an outdated piece of technology with something that is still very much in common use. Worst you seem to think that any design Apple comes up with will be modeled on current approaches. Frankly I'd rather expect that Apple would continue to innovate here. It doesn't take a lot of effort to imagine Apple putting a spin on a slide out keyboard that would be a big win for heavy iPhone users. Done right it keeps iPhone compact while expanding usable screen real-estate. That is no joking matter.
Originally Posted by zindako
Slide out keyboard? What crap is that, what, did Apple start walking backwards or something?
Originally Posted by kevt
however good Apple make the iPhone in itself, it will not be 'the best' if market-share dwindles to such an extent that developers switch from iOS and prioritise Android. A computer is only as good as the Applications running on it.
Apple has no choice but to go after marketshare, and this means more models. They have begun to do this.
(1) 2nd model of iPhone just introduced. CMDA to overcome the first hurdle, 'the carrier hurdle', and open all markets to the iPhone. (This despite the compromise on one of Apple's most touted features: simultaneous voice and data use).
(2) A lower cost, lower spec, slightly smaller version. The rumoured iPhone nano to overcome 'the cost hurdle'. imo Apple will produce one this year to compete at lower price points.
(3) After these two, the next most obvious hurdle to people buying an iPhone is form factor. I don't doubt that Apple thinks an on-screen keyboard is best, and I agree with them. But people are different, and some prefer a tactile, physical keyboard. If it will remove that hurdle then give it to them - produce a slide out keyboard version. Obviously 'as well as' not 'instead of' the current format.
I don't think a Nano or a Keyboard model is half as unlikely as some are making out.
I imagine 20-30% of potential customers (not all your aunt or grandma, but many business users, writers, etc.) much prefer a physical keyboard. My virtual KB experience is limited, but I know I do.20-30% of the phone market is, btw, 200-300 MILLION units/year.
Why leave all of that just sitting on the table for Android and the also rans?
Apple has aesthetic religion, but they're also business people. It would be cool, tho' if they used their design chops to bring it out in a way that minimally impacts their overall philosophy.
Originally Posted by pika2000
The keyboard slide out is obviously either mis-information or an old pre-original-iPhone rumor. The next iPhone "5" will definitely carry the same design as the iPhone 4. With production of the CDMA iPhone 4 being fairly recent, I doubt Apple would want to switch gear for a completely new design, again. That's expensive and inefficient, considering even the iPhone 4 is still selling out in some countries.
The wild card is the so-called iPhone mini/nano. I think it's more fun speculating about this as it's an unknown.
You got my KB thots above, but I agree with the rest of what you say. This is going to be a refinement, extension update - especially given the timing of the CMDA release which opens more markets than simply Verizon around the world, and they'll use this to penetrate those.
The next major redesign will be the full-blown 4G/LTE model in 2012. Hopefully before all those pesky planets align and a super-nova wipes us out.