QWERTY Bars abandoned to Blackberry?

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If you are looking for a smartphone with a candybar form factor and a QWERTY keyboard these days, chances are that you will end up with a Blackberry. Those chances are much higher than they were years ago.

You see, years ago, several devices on different smartphone platforms spotted a QWERTY keyboard in a bar form. We had devices from Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Palm besides Blackberry.

However, in the last few years, most of those platforms have shifted their focus from QWERTY bars. Oh, there are still lots of QWERTY devices on the market, but in a hybrid form that combines touchscreen with a slider. What is very rare on the existing platforms are QWERTYs on bars.


Personally, regardless of how responsive a touchscreen is, I always eventually crave for a hardware QWERTY keyboard. Weeks may pass. At times months. But I gotta have QWERTY! It is almost an addiction. I know several others like that. It is about preferences.

QWERTY bars have always been Blackberry turf. They made it popular. And while most other manufacturers are shifting heavilly, RIM are still holding on to that ground. The other mobile platforms that used to offer QWERTY bar alternatives have shifted their focus and almost left the turf exclusively in the hands of RIM and their Blackberry OS.

One thing is for sure, there is a market for hardware QWERTY in a bar form, and RIM are currently ruling that segment of the smartphone market. Will Blackberry hold out or are they a dying breed? Are hardware Qwerty devotees dinosaurs passing time till the apocalypse?


  1. I dont know may be we should blame Apple or thank them because just like Tablets, Apple made full touch screen phones popular. And come to think about it, we love touch interfaces cos it makes navigating your device easier.

    It is now clear that we need a miracle for apple to make a qwerty phone. Thanks to Motorola for making a qwerty Android and Dell for making same for WP7, but it is vivid clear that these OSs are not made for portrait qwerty.

    And to make matters worse the new symbian on the block is also not primarily for portrait qwerty. As it is for Nokia if S60 3rd dies so will portrait qwerty phones by Nokia.

    lets hope RIM sticks to portrait qwerty.

  2. I don’t see Nokia or Samsung abandoning the Qwerty segment to Blackberry just yet . Their still a huge market for hardware buttons. But i see nokia divesting their qwerty devices to use mainly S40 a la c3 and x2_01

  3. But i see nokia divesting their qwerty devices to use mainly S40 a la c3 and x2_01

    Yes; but that’s part of my point – those devices are not smartphones and so are not real competitors to Blackberry. People will probably use those, fall in love with the form factor – and then when they need an upgrade, most likely cross over to a Blackberry device.

    In the smartphone market, the QWERTY candybar segment is almost totally abandoned to BB devices alone.

  4. I crossed over to a touch-screen phone from qwerty candy bar. While the wow factor of the touch-screen phone got me hooked and I thought I could live without the qwerty candy bar form factor, my recent return to this form factor via a Blackberry device, showed me how much I love the qwerty candy bar and I am back for good.

    I only hope BB won’t ditch the form factor too.

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