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iPhone With Physical Keyboard Seriously Considered by Apple, Says Ex-Employee

When it comes to touchscreen devices, it should be safe to say that the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch's interface are some of the best in the industry, if not the best. Back in the time when touchscreen interfaces were considered to be unintuitive, Apple introduced the capacitive touchscreens which certainly changed the landscape of mobile devices forever. Now can you imagine if Apple never went though the touchscreen route and introduced an iPhone with a physical keyboard? I bet not but apparently, the idea was seriously considered by the Cupertino company at some point.

iPhone with Physical Keyboard
Known technology-focused news website The Verge recently had the chance to interview a former Apple executive named Tony Fadell. In the interview, Fadell related that back in 2007, the original iPhone design was narrowed down into three different prototypes. While there is nothing unusual with the idea of Apple having many concept designs for the original iPhone, Fadell disclosed that one of the builds that is being seriously considered is an iPhone with built-in physical keyboard. When asked about his take on things, Fadell said that he was partial to the idea of having the virtual keyboard and Steve Jobs was pretty much in agreement.

a hardware keyboard was seriously considered within Apple before the iconic touchscreen-only design was given the green light. He said there were three different versions: an “iPod + Phone,” a different iteration that was called the “iPhone,” and finally, the device that was ultimately introduced back in January of 2007.

Before leaving the company back in 2008, Fadell worked for Apple since 2001 as the contract designer for the original iPod. During his illustrious career in Apple, Fadell went on to over numerous iterations of the iPod in addition to three versions of the iPhone.

Take note that before the introduction of the iPhone, QWERTY smartphones were clearly the craze back then which was dominated by Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones. It would be interesting if Apple adopted an iPhone with a physical keyboard, would they be in the same dominant position as they are in now? With the massive success of the iPhone, it should be safe to assume that many people are glad that the device turned out the way it did. Would you want an iPhone with physical keyboard? [via TheVerge]

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