Apple Seriously Considered Releasing iPhone With Hardware Keyboard

iPhone Hardware keyboard

If you are a long time iOS user who is used to the on-screen virtual keyboard, then you probably find the need of a physical keyboard unnecessary.

But that hasn’t stopped rumors from claiming that Apple will launch an iPhone with a physical keyboard.

Interestingly, Tony Fadell, former Senior Vice President of the iPod Division at Apple revealed in an interview with The Verge that Apple had seriously considered releasing the iPhone with a hardware keyboard.

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. As for Fadell’s own take on a hardware keyboard? He told the audience tonight that he himself knew the potential of virtual keyboards, and personally wanted to wait to implement one before going with the hardware option. Fadell worked on the iPhone up until the 3GS – and was involved with a whopping 18 generations of the iPod line – before stepping away to start Nest. 

While it is taken for granted now, iPhone’s virtual keyboard was one of the revolutionary features of the iPhone.

Do you miss a physical keyboard while using the iPhone? Please share your views in the comments.

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  • Wazzalisk

    I personally love the virtual keyboard and will never go back to a physical one. At first I thought the virtual keyboard would be bad, but that’s just cause I was using Nokia’s crappy X5800 touch phone back then, which, had crap touch sensing. But the iPhone’s virtual keyboard is good. Would be better if Apple allowed third party custom virtual keyboards though.

  • Zimen

    Yes sometimes I do.. Since the screen of iPhone is not that big, It feel’s uncomfortable when I’m writing down something or using a messanger cause the virtual keyboard covers the half of the screen.
    Well I think that won’t be a problem if further version of iPhone is to come out with a bigger screen.

  • Trapp

    Swype It eats hardware keyboards for lunch. Not to stir the nest it eats iPhones autocorrection for a supper

  • Frank

    Sorry but if the next iphone comes with a hardware keyboard, you can count me out. It would be a step backwards in my opinion.

    • Todicamer

      The article says that the physical keyboard was considered before the release of the first Iphone, not now.

  • Rafael bazil

    I don’t think it will look rite on The iPhone they have to make the iPhone a bit smaller to keep up on there game and win the market.. They should make choice either the one wih the keyboard and one with out and you pick what you want

  • Fingers21

    They will never go back to a hardware keyboard, the iPhone virtual keyboard revolutionised the entire industry! There is still nothing as acurate! I had my right thumb ripped off by a horse a few years back and couldn’t use a hardware keyboard even if I wanted to, but why would I?!

  • Baba

    If they do, I’m out… Nomore iPhones….

  • majortom7

    Yeh right !!

  • Intrepid

    As a senior and iphone user, I find it impossible to compete my typing speed with a kid using a Blackberry at amazing speeds using only his two thumbs. They can even type without looking at the screen. When you grow older, your fingers get thicker and won’t fit on a virtual keyboard, specially thumbs.
    That explained, I would certainly favor a physical keyboard

  • Rico

    Apple running out of ideas?

  • imppaul

    Don’t miss the physical one, but mostly because speech-to-text has become so awesome.

  • Kwopau

    Honestly, I prefer the virtual keyboard on my iphone. I have a featured phone that I use on a different country, and boy I’m slow at typing on those physical keyboards these days.

  • my iphone is keyboard inside- 4s

  • ereynell

    That is so far from Steve Jobs intention…
    Less buttons the better was his and Apples policy, I doubt they have changed that.
    More likely they come with som awesome 3D tech…

  • Zed Sefi

    Apple should release the keyboard as additional accessory, just like the other accessories they have for iPhone and other iOS products, and it would fit perfectly as a back case (keyboard should slide smootly in and out just like how its done with other phones). This can be paired with the phone using Blueooth. This way you would only carry the keyboard when needed.

    • Zed Sefi

      Just like this one for instance:

  • Dan Bradley

    you can buy this on Amazon.

  • Grecco

    People should at least read the article before give opinions.