HTC Says No to Physical Keyboards

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There’s bad news for fans of smartphones with physical keyboards: HTC is going to stop making devices that include them.

HTC EVO Shift 4GClaude Zellweger, this company’s creative director, said at a press event “As a company, the QWERTY keyboard we’re moving away from in general. We feel that putting too much effort into that would take away from our devices.”

Instead, HTC is going to work to improve the haptic feedback that is included with the on-screen keyboards it will use in future handsets.

Touchscreens vs. Keyboards

Many years ago, virtually all smartphones had a physical keyboard, with RIM’s BlackBerry line and Palm’s Treo models being the most obvious examples. Then Apple experienced huge sales of the first iPhone, which was focused entirely on its touchscreen, and other companies took note.

A few models with keyboards are still released each year, such as the Motorola Droid 4, the HTC EVO Shift 4G, and Samsung Stratosphere, but these are definitely in the minority. Instead, the focus is on ever slimmer designs.

Physical keyboards are usually most popular with businesspeople, as their main focus for their smartphone is generally email. This is part of the reason why RIM has continued to use them, and other companies have followed suit when making devices aimed at professionals.

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