The future is touch screen. There is no question about it. While touch screens existed earlier, it’s the iPhone and Gorilla Glass that made it popular and iPad made the touch screen the only logical future. We are also transitioning to voice but something needs a eulogy right away – QWERTY. Where does the QWERTY phones fit in the future? Better yet, does QWERTY fit in the mobile phone future? The answer seems to be coming from HTC.
HTC which has ventured into its own share of QWERTY+Touch screen phones has decided the time is ripe to ditch the QWERTY. Yes, ditch.
Although there are still clients who believe that physical QWERTY keyboards are easier to use and request them in a smartphone, HTC wants to abandon this feature. HTC’s creative director strongly believes that the future of keyboards doesn’t rely on the hardware, but on haptic technologies.
“We feel that putting too much effort into that would take away from our devices,” said Claude Zellweger.
This would mean the end of QWERTY keypads. There are manufacturers who still make QWERTY phones and we ran a feature for the QWERTY phones. I expect Sony and Motorola to follow suit because QWERTY isn’t a great seller for these manufacturers anyway. QWERTY makes sense only for Blackberry now.
Blackberry can be credited with bringing QWERTY to the world of mobile phones. Blackberry still strongly believes in its QWERTY portfolio. Unfortunately for Blackberry though, many users are moving to other platforms and interfaces. Touch is the obvious go-to but that’s not really hurting Blackberry. In India, its impenetrable security is now open to snooping to the Indian government. Yet another concept which is fast catching up and probably hurting Blackberry is BYOD – Bring Your Own Device.
Companies used to hand-over Blackberry devices to their employees to keep in touch with the employees. That is changing now. Corporates are experimenting with iPhones and Android phones. With the fall in prices of Smartphone’s, corporates are asking their employees to bring their own device to work and install a piece of software to make it compliant with the corporate data and security policies. BYOD and advances in touch screen means death for both Blackberry and QWERTY.
Blackberry might be the only vendor still selling last species of QWERTY phones, if it is still around.
For someone who will look back at the history, QWERTY keypads would be seen as a bridge between the old feature phones and the new touch screen phones. QWERTY will be a good bedtime story for future generations. Just like we now have stories about how mobile phones of the nineties used to be like bricks.