Apple Once Considered Releasing an iPhone with Physical Keyboard
A former Apple executive revealed that the idea of incorporating a physical keyboard to the original iPhone was seriously considered. But fortunately for the company, Apple designers settled for an unintuitive multi-touch design, which revolutionized the phone industry. Before the first Phone was released in early 2007, Apple narrowed down to three major designs. Tony Fadell was an important figure in Apple, he left company in 2008, but was kept by Steve Jobs as a special advisor until 2010. He was involved in the development of various iPod models as well as the iPhone 3GS.
He disclosed that during the development of the original iPhone, the design team submitted three designs for considerations, a phone with physical keyboard, an iPod-phone and a multi-touch model that was eventually released in 2007. Fadell personally preferred the last design and fortunately, Steve Jobs, who had the final say on the matter, sided with him.
The iPhone was not the first touchscreen smartphone. The Ericsson R380 released in 2000, used a version of Symbian OS and a resistive touchscreen display. It was followed by Sony Ericsson’s P-series handsets in 2002, which saw moderate success. However, the iPhone was the first to trigger a massive shift in the phone industry toward a keyboard-less design.