RUMOR: iPhone 5 prototype part hints at sliding mechanical keyboard

“A 30-pin dock connector cable claimed to be a prototype part for Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 5 has surfaced overseas, along with more details of a handset with a sliding screen cover that could suggest a hardware keyboard,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“tw.apple.pro posted on Monday a photo of a part claimed to be from the iPhone 5. It appears to show the 30-pin dock connector and the ribbon used to attach it inside of Apple’s handset,” Hughes reports. “The report claims Apple has built a new iPhone model with a ‘sliding cover.’ It notes that the alleged device has a ‘frame shape’ similar to the current iPhone 4, though the device is ‘slightly thicker’ than the current-generation iPhone.”

Hughes reports, “Though the roughly translated report does not specifically indicate that the ‘sliding cover’ would involve a keyboard, the same site earlier this month said that Apple was evaluating three prototypes for the iPhone 5, and one of them allegedly has a slide-out keyboard.”

Read more in the full article, which includes a photo of the part, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once again: People who don’t like typing on iPhones have rarely or never typed on iPhones or have not yet allowed themselves to let the iPhone do it’s job. Trust the iPhone, don’t fight it. Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him.

A hardware keyboard is a significant selling point for only one group of customers: those who already own a phone with a hardware keyboard, and that group is a niche. A nice niche, but a niche nonetheless… I type far better on my iPhone than I expected I’d be able to, and that seems to be true for everyone I know who owns one. The only people who struggle with the iPhone keyboard are those who are already accustomed to a hardware smartphone keyboard.John Gruber, June 5, 2009

Related articles:
Antiquate your iPhone – and cover half the screen – with plastic-buttoned slide-on keyboard – September 17, 2009
iPhone typist hits 56 WPM (with video) – February 10, 2010

33 Comments

  1. Mdn take…. Spot on

    If the IPhone 5 begins the slide out keyboard era of the iPhone, the iPhone 4 may be my last iPhone.
    I’ll buy up a few to keep for spares.

  2. Arthur C. Clarke, I believe it was in “Childhood’s End,” made a very astute observation – the more truly sophisticated a device becomes, the fewer buttons, dials, switches, etc. It needs. He as writing in particular about a spacecraft, but I think it applies here as well.

    1. Yeah I have big hands too.

      Everyones fingers are too big for the iPhone. But if you don’t use the entire pad of your finger to press each key you’ll have an easier time.

      Since your fingers are rounded the tip of your finger shouldn’t take up much more surface area than that of an infant’s. It’s only when you press your finger into the screen that it will be so fat as to press multiple buttons.

    1. I think you hit the nail right on the head.
      Slide out keyboard…rubbish!
      The only thing holding back the iphone/pod/pad as far as gaming is a better method for controlling the game. The use of touch and the gyroscopic sensors have made some amzing new types of games…but we still really need some sort of hardware controls to make it useful for many games

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