Would you buy a QWERTY Apple iPhone?
Five years on from its 2007 release, the iPhone continues to be the phone to beat. Its multi-touch display kickstarted a phone phenomenon. However, things could have been very different. Ex-Apple executive Tony Fadell says Apple considered a physical QWERTY keyboard and iPod-style click wheel..
Speaking to The Verge Fadell says that discussions over a QWERTY keyboard were a “heated topic”, with some in the company wanting to go with a physical keyboard, and others not so willing.
But even Fadell was unsure whether the multitouch display we have today would have worked, but he wanted to give it a go.
“I didn’t know a lot about touchscreens and I was sceptical, so I wanted to try it first. I wanted it to work because it made sense to have a big screen and not just a little keyboard,” he said.
Fadell revealed that Apple had three prototypes lined up, one of which was iPod-like, with a wheel.
“There were three different types of iPhone. There was an iPod + Phone, then there was the iPhone and then there was the next generation iPhone, which was the one that actually showed up.”
“The biggest problem with the iPod + Phone was that we had this little wheel… Sometimes you have to try things to throw them away.”
It’s safe to say the decision to go multitouch was the right one. Since them we’ve seen every major smartphone manufacturer implement capacitive displays that work without the need for a stylus. Even the Samsung Galaxy series could have been very different were it not for the original iPhone. Would you have purchased a QWERTY iPhone?