Have you ever wished there was a physical keyboard on your iPhone? At this point we have all become accustomed to using our touchscreen keyboards, but we almost had an iPhone with a physical keyboard back in 2007. When Apple was developing the very first iPhone, they seriously considered building the device with a keyboard, according to former senior VP Tony Fadell on The Verge.
Tony Fadell said there were actually three versions of the iPhone that were being considered. One was called “iPod + Phone,” the other is the iPhone we all know and love, and the third was a device with a built-in physical keyboard. I’m glad they did not go with the iPod + Phone name, because that is just a terrible name that is not at all catchy.
In the interview Fadell said that he saw the potential in a virtual keyboard, and he wanted to make sure they figured out a way to make it work before they went with the physical keyboard. I can’t say I disagree with him.
Fadell was around Apple for a little bit of everything. He worked there up through the iPhone 3GS and he oversaw 18 iterations of the iPod.
Looking back, it seems Apple made the correct choice. The iPhone has obviously gone on to become a huge success and most other smartphones have adopted a touchscreen as their chosen method of user input.
What do you think? Do you ever wish your iPhone had a physical keyboard?