RIMarkable Read: Questioning the QWERTY

10 Comments

rimread.jpg

We’d like to welcome yet another familiar face to the BlackBerry Cool team. RIMarkable’s Robb Dunewood will be weighing from time to time with opinion pieces that I’ve cheesily-dubbed the “RIMarkable Read”. Like what you read? Check out Robb’s home over at RIMarkable for more great insight into the BlackBerry world (but do come back).

Are QWERTY Keyboards Today Becoming The Digital Cameras Of Yesterday?

Do you remember when it was rare to see a digital camera on mobile device? It really wasn’t all that long ago that getting a mobile phone with a built-in digi-cam was the “hip” thing to do. These days it is harder to find a mobile phone without a digital camera than it is to find one with. Most consumers, BlackBerry users excluded, view digital cameras like voice mail. Just something that comes with the phone.

My question to you is… Are QWERTY keyboards today becoming the digital cameras of yesterday?

Many BlackBerry users today would tell you that they would never switch to a device other than the BlackBerry. I venture to say that a greater percentage of smartphone users that have come to rely on easy text entry facilitated by QWERTY keyboards, regardless of if they use a BlackBerry or not, would be willing to go back to standard alpha-numeric keypad.

handheldbb.jpgEmail, text messaging, SMS, IM, even document editing have become the killer apps of the smartphone world. To many people, myself included, email is as important to them as voice mail. Try responding to it from an alphanumeric keypad once you’ve become used to using your BlackBerry or other QWERTY keyboarded device. It is unbearable.

I challenge any BlackBerry user that has had their device for more than 2 or 3 hours to borrow the an alpha numeric mobile phone from one of the poor souls you know that has yet to move into the 21st century and send yourself an SMS message, or, heaven forbid, an email of 20 words or more.

As more and more devices come out, more and more devices have QWERTY enabled keyboards. I don’t think that it is a stretch to think that in a few years QWERTY keyboards will be as prevalent on mobile phones in general as cameraphones are in them today.

What do you think? Are QWERTY keyboards today becoming the digital cameras of yesterday?

  • Daniel

    I can honestly say I will never buy a phone that doesn’t
    1. Have a QWERTY of some kind
    2. Sync with Outlook and Support Categories.

    These are two main requirements for phones in 2007. Anything less is just ridiculous.

  • Daniel

    I can honestly say I will never buy a phone that doesn’t
    1. Have a QWERTY of some kind
    2. Sync with Outlook and Support Categories.

    These are two main requirements for phones in 2007. Anything less is just ridiculous.

  • jason

    I do agree, that I personally would never buy a phone without a QWERTY type keyboard. I actually enjoy using the 7100 and the pearl’s version of suretype. I find it faster.
    I think everyone reading this website will agree that QWERTY keyboards are ‘necessary’ for us, but does the average person want their email on their cell phone? I’m not totally sure. I am asked to explain all of the ‘crazy’ features on my phone at least 3 times a week by guys that I work with. Almost everyone ends up saying,
    “Why do you want your email on your phone? How much do you really get?”
    I think it will be another 2 years before you begin to see QWERTY keypads on nextel type phones. When the ‘nascar dad’ demands it, then it has truely gained acceptance.

  • jason

    I do agree, that I personally would never buy a phone without a QWERTY type keyboard. I actually enjoy using the 7100 and the pearl’s version of suretype. I find it faster.
    I think everyone reading this website will agree that QWERTY keyboards are ‘necessary’ for us, but does the average person want their email on their cell phone? I’m not totally sure. I am asked to explain all of the ‘crazy’ features on my phone at least 3 times a week by guys that I work with. Almost everyone ends up saying,
    “Why do you want your email on your phone? How much do you really get?”
    I think it will be another 2 years before you begin to see QWERTY keypads on nextel type phones. When the ‘nascar dad’ demands it, then it has truely gained acceptance.

  • http://www.rimarkable.com/ Robb (RIMarkable)

    Jason,

    I think when you look at kids, 13 to about 25, text messaging, SMS, email, and other text based communication is as, if not, more important to them as voice. As this demographic enters the work force, these, features, and the keyboards that enable them, will become more common place.

  • http://www.rimarkable.com/ Robb (RIMarkable)

    Jason,

    I think when you look at kids, 13 to about 25, text messaging, SMS, email, and other text based communication is as, if not, more important to them as voice. As this demographic enters the work force, these, features, and the keyboards that enable them, will become more common place.

  • http://www.rimarkable.com/ Robb (RIMarkable)

    Jason,

    I think when you look at kids, 13 to about 25, text messaging, SMS, email, and other text based communication is as, if not, more important to them as voice. As this demographic enters the work force, these, features, and the keyboards that enable them, will become more common place.

  • http://www.rimarkable.com Robb (RIMarkable)

    Jason,

    I think when you look at kids, 13 to about 25, text messaging, SMS, email, and other text based communication is as, if not, more important to them as voice. As this demographic enters the work force, these, features, and the keyboards that enable them, will become more common place.

  • Thought

    Robb: I am in total agreement with you. Text based applications are becoming more and more popular, esp. with the younger crowd.

    As such, a full keyboard will become more and more prevalent on mobile devices.

  • Thought

    Robb: I am in total agreement with you. Text based applications are becoming more and more popular, esp. with the younger crowd.

    As such, a full keyboard will become more and more prevalent on mobile devices.