The death of the non-touch smartphone

Posted by

I had a chat with a friend this morning. She is not a geek by any stretch and uses a BlackBerry 9300 Curve 3G. Yep; the phone pictured to the right.

9300


It is a smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard. She loves and enjoys the keyboard. She told me that she was getting bored already and would love to get a new smartphone. She was looking at Android. And Samsung. I thought it was a good move.

Then she dropped the spoiler: she didn’t want a touchscreen smartphone. She finds touchscreen devices difficult to use, she said. They require too much attention and concentration to use, she said. Simply put, she wants a non-touchscreen smartphone.

An Extinct Specie
It may not have dawned on you yet, but I do not know of any smartphone that was released this year 2011 that does not sport a touchscreen. Not one.


The last non-touchscreen device on any smartphone platform was launched last year, 2010.

You read that right. My facts may be a bit off, but if I am right, that would be the Blackberry 9780 in November 2010.

The E6 launched with a QWERTY keyboard this year has a touchscreen display. I mentioned that to her. She declined. If it had touchscreen, she didn’t want to hear of it, so I didn’t bother with any of the new BlackBerry or Android QWERTY devices.

The New Age
But the reality is, she will have to adjust if she wants to use a smartphone. I had to adjust, though my preference lies with non-touch QWERTY too. Many others have had to adjust.

Let’s call it the evolution of the smartphone and the adaptation of humanity. Adapt or go extinct.


samsung s8003 jet

My first pure touchscreen device was the Samsung S8003 Jet back in January 2010. It was a non-smartphone marketed as “smarter than a smartphone”. The touchscreen experience wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Today, I use another pure touchscreen device as my primary smartphone, the Nokia N8. It is not terrible, but I miss my QWERTY keyboard.

One thing is for sure, whether it is with or without a hardware QWERTY keyboard, we are in the age of the touchscreen.

READER COMMENTS

We love to hear from you - your opinions, insights and experiences with smartphones and other gadgets. Be a part of Mobility Arena's active community by sharing a comment below if comments are enabled for this page.



20 comments

  1. I love touchscreen phones.My Sony Ericsson xperia X1 isn’t anything fancy but I can’t imagine buying a phone that doesn’t have a touchscreen. Even my 3 year old niece is drawn to my phone cos she can always touch the screen and see results.

  2. Now That Yomi had finally smelt the coffee and accepted the ineluctable, I can now have a somnolent day…;-)

  3. Methinks so long as there are people like you, me and the lady you talked about, the qwerty keyboard won’t go extinct 😀
    I rarely do any typing on my Galaxy cause of the pain so, for the sake of ergonomics, the qwerty keyboard won’t go extinct IMHO

  4. Yomi, check ur post again. There is a mistake somewhere. ‘The last touchscreen device on any smartphone platform was released last year’.

  5. What you said rings true, Yomi. The daysnof the non-touchscreen smartphones are over. Touch screens have come to stay.

    Of course, I prefer touch screen only devices. I’m more productive when using them.

  6. Hardware keypad enabled phones will never stop coming.

    The future is touch but they’ll all have keypad dock, then a universal dock will be introduced. It’s about miniactualisation

  7. Never thought I’d use a touch screen device outside a tab until I got Wifey a Nokia C7 months back. The attraction was instant (with the technology, not the device).

    Finally had to ditch my then beloved Bold 9700 – no hard feelings RIM. Still miss the physical keyboard though…i’m doing just fine with the pure touch thingy.

  8. On this blog and others. the de(merits) of one over the other – has been over_discussed. But one thing is clear. With the increasing sophistication of software like ‘Swype’ and ‘split_screened text entry, I am more convinced now – more than ever, that TouchWay is the RightWay, and QWERTY belongs to the stone_age.

    The ONLY rational reason advanced by these QWERTians is the tactile feedback / satisfaction they get from physical keyboard. There is no other compelling reason for physical_QWERTY apart from this.

    The earlier version of SWYPE had the intuitive and frustrating habit of adding any word (even mispelled ones) you type (i.e any word that is not already in its dictionary). I mentioned then that – that was not smart. Looks like Swype has been listening to feedbacks.The latest version now makes that optional. Yipeee !!

    Of course non-touch (on bigscreened smartphones) will eventually fade away. It is not a matter of ‘if’, but a matter of ‘when’. Apple has done it. Moto_Google is likely to, and then the remaining herd will just have to fall in line.

    You will also notice that most current smartphones are getting big screens. The Nokia E6 of this world are exceptions. You need to be keyboardless to make good use of the big screens. They are competing on thinness and weightlessness (SamGal SII vs iPhone 4, anyone?).

    I am convinced QWERTY is headed for the doldrums – Most people use their smartphones for CONSUMPTION rather than for CREATION. if you need to do lots of text input regularly, a smartphone is not the right tool – unless it allows you to connect a hardware keyboard.. A tablet is not even right equipment! Get a netbook (/tablet with dockable hardware keyboard) instead.

    Using two thumbs to type on a hardware_keyboard on a smartphone will merely leave us all with BLISTERS and CALLUSES !

    Nothing more!

  9. Eyebeekay,
    i agree with you much on
    the points raised about touchscreen devices. Their better use of space allows for huge screens. But i dont agree with this…..

    ”I am convinced QWERTY is headed for the doldrums – Most people use their smartphones for CONSUMPTION rather than for CREATION. if you need to do lots of text input regularly, a smartphone is not the right tool – unless it allows you to connect a hardware keyboard.. A
    tablet is not even right equipment! Get a netbook (/tablet with dockable hardware keyboard) instead. Using two thumbs to type on a hardware_keyboard on a smartphone will merely leave us all with BLISTERS and CALLUSES !

    Nothing more!

    a smartphone should have a very convenient input system! Infact all phones should have! And with individual preferences some would prefer touch while some hardware keys! We cant rule out hardware keys completely like you are trying to suggest there..

  10. For Me personally. I have decided to join the touchcraze as my next smartphone..well do i really have a choice anyway? 🙂

  11. Burst the idea Yomi,

    I reply mails on the go because I am mostly out of the office. I use BBM all the time to keep tabs on my team. It’ll be hard to keep all these going with one finger punching the screen like my 2- year old daughter on my Lappy.

    Whatever happens, looks like I’m stuck with the hard old Qwerty! Unless of course, I can get a touch screen that I can just dictate to and have no need to be typing long sentences.

  12. I’m all for a physical QWeRty smartphone. Those touchscreen phones really scare the crap out of them cause the touch feature seems to be the first to go haywire. Maybe if I were to come into one for a month, I could get used to them but for now, I prefer my hardware keyboard

  13. productivity wise, nothing beats a good hardware keyboard… (read blackberry) had to deal with about 600 messages yday…if i had to deal with that on my iphone alone, i would have smashed it to bits…lol.

  14. Finally! I’ve been waiting for this article. Now i know that i’m not the only one that noticed. I beleive the death of non-touhscreen smartphones was what almost brought about the death of nokia and symbian. Nokia/symbian’s problem was that it had to transit to touchscreen while competing with the iphone and androids which were touchscreen from the very beginning.

    maemo/Meego which was first developed for touchscreen devices(n800,n810, n900 and now n9) has always been top – notch but unfortunately nokia seem to have underestimated it. If nokia had put symbian belle or anna on their 5800 and n97 when it first came out they wouldnt be where they are now

  15. I love my 5630 XM!!! It is a small, slim, light and fast smartphone with an excelent standard alphanumeric keypad. It’s the best and fastest input way for me. Unfortunately most of the world has forgotten this way. But I still believe this touch craziness with biiiig phones which almost can’t fit in the hand will go away after some years and people will rediscover the beauty of small phones with keys!!! Symbian S60 is the best!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *