“It is an article of Faith, of course, that whatever Steve Jobs does, is Right. And so, since the iPhone currently has no keyboard on it, it must logically follow that it is wrong to have a keyboard, and therefore that Steve Jobs will never produce a version that does have a keyboard,” Guy J. Kewney reports for newswireless.net. “Fervent fans can therefore see no reason to change the iPhone from its current ‘type on the touch screen, or not at all’ design. As one of the more zealous remarked when the suggestion was even mentioned: ‘The only people who think it needs a keyboard, are people who have never used it.'”
“Rumours from inside Cupertino suggest that Jobs himself doesn’t have this sort of religious hangup about his own work. Reports from inside mobile operators show that whether or not he ever makes it work, he is already trying to make a ‘slide-out’ keyboard for a corporate version of the iPhone,” Kewney reports. “If this version does appear on the market, it won’t be this year, and certainly won’t be aimed at the consumer market. Consumers love the sleek, elegant design of the iPhone, and quickly fall in love with the on-screen keyboard.”
“But Steve Jobs can do the sums,” Kewney reports. “In America, iPhone has perhaps overtaken Blackberry in total sales – but these sales are in what they call ‘the executive corridor.'”
“Worldwide, it has not escaped the attention of mobile network execs that the bulk of corporate sales are not into the executive corridor. Rather, they are phones which are provided for staff, and the vast bulk of them have full-QWERTY keyboards; and all the best-selling ones, Nokia, Sony-Ericsson and HTC alike, have slide-out keyboards. The popular Danger Sidekick, too, has a slide-out (spin-out) QWERTY keyboard,” Kewney reports. “The market which buys these phones, wants QWERTY and they don’t want to type on the screen. They ‘just know’ that they wouldn’t like it.”
“Arguably, they’re wrong, of course. Quite conceivably, after a week of sending emails typed on the touch-screen of the iPhone, they’d ‘get it’ and love it,” Kewney reports. “But how will they ever find out?”
Kewney reports, “Actual prototypes – not just mockups! – have been sent to senior executives inside the operators. I’m not allowed to even hint which operators…”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Kewney’s annual
load joke? If you’re going to dump a rumor, when better than just before the long July 4th weekend, to let it fester? Last year, on Friday, June 29, 2007, Kewney wrote, “A new 3G (European) version of the iPhone will be launched Monday [July 2 2007] in the UK by Apple.” Suffice to say, it didn’t happen. Take this rumor with several tons of salt.