iPhone Onscreen Keyboard Sparks Debate

Dennis Faas's picture

While the recent hype over the much anticipated Apple iPhone would have potential buyers believing that the product is flawless, industry analysts are just now realizing that the gadget lacks an obvious feature: a mechanical keyboard.

As it stands, the iPhone sports only one mechanical button, and is only used to return users to the home screen. The lack of more than one button seemingly echoes a statement made by Apple CEO Steven Jobs over two decades ago. Back then, Jobs discouraged the implementation of more than one mechanical button for any computer mouse so that users would never have to worry about pushing the wrong button. (Source: nytimes.com)

The keyboard feature is built onto a number of modern cell phone designs and is targeted primarily at business employees and teenagers. Many agree that by not offering a keyboard feature, Apple is hurting their chances of attracting a larger clientele.

As it stands, all typing on the iPhone is to be done using fingers and thumbs, an awkward tactic for most cell phone users.

Still, Apple supporters believe removing the keyboard feature is a clever design solution. The removal of a mechanical keyboard has left enough room for an impressive 3.5-inch screen. It's this feature that makes the iPhone so attractive, allowing users to watch movies and television shows. (Source: news.com.com) Steve Jobs personally addressed this issue, stating that he failed to see why having a keyboard that pops up onscreen would be such a difficult compromise. The iPhone's onscreen keyboard has a built-in dictionary that attempts to predict the word being typed, while also catching errors as they are made. (Source: nytimes.com)

This, of course, means that users would be required to learn the new system; a task that even Apple executives say may take several days.

Still, with the arduous task of Apple meeting their expected June 29, 2007 iPhone release date, the ability of users to adapt to the features of the iPhone should be the least of Apple's worries.

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