Steve Jobs Contemplates a Slider iPhone?!

By Kevin Michaluk on 2 Jul 2008 09:35 am EDT
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iSlider
YES, I am a Photoshop Mock Up iSlider!

Over at our sibling site TheiPhoneblog (affectionally referred to as TiPb, which fyi, tipb.com will direct you to the site as well), the word is that Steve Jobs is kicking around the idea of building an iPhone with a slide out keyboard. Here's the interesting part - more than just polling people on the idea, it seems there are actually a few prototype iSliders floating around:

What he is apparently doing is canvassing the idea with operators. “If you had a keyboard version, how many would you take?” And he has taken this beyond just chatting: actual prototypes - not just mockups - have been sent to senior executives at some operators. I’m not allowed to even hint which operators… but I can report that the keyboard has “issues” which are not yet resolved.

We know RIM will be invading Apple's touchscreen turf with the launch of the BlackBerry Thunder, so it sort of makes sense for Steve Jobs to fire back and explore ways to snatch a few % of the I-need-a-real-keyboard market out there.

Topics: Berry-Free Talk

Reader comments

Steve Jobs Contemplates a Slider iPhone?!

26 Comments

Hate to say it but that’s kind of tempting. I don’t think I would ever get an iphone because I hate Crapple and Steve as well, but we all saw this one coming I mean it is about time Crapple gets some variety in their phones it’s not an ipod “do you want the 8 gig or the 16 gig”. But still an iphone with a full keyboard if they get it right it could be great.

Notice how the person being quoted wouldn't say which carrier the iPhone keyboard is being tested on? This makes me think its a CDMA version. It could be Verizon. That's totally plausible.

iPhone with a slide out keyboard would be awesome for so many practical reasons, but no matter how pratical, I wouldnt be leaving Sprint for the carrier that has it.

As someone who made a switch from iPhone to Curve. The idea of a slideout keyboard does tempt me for about 2 minutes.

... Then I think about the lack of mms, size factor, non-changeable batteries, crappy phone reception, and the size factor with the additional keyboard.

Apple has way too much control over their product. Even when 3rd party software is available Steve is gonna check to see if you wiped.

Total crap!

Good point bBurn. While the lack of physical keyboard is (to most) the iPhone's biggest flaw, it is not its only flaw.

Both Apple and RIM's phones are becoming more and more like each others' because they _are_ competiting in the same market.

Very Interesting, of course it would almost be like the AT&T Tilt phone. But like bBURN said, still has other flaws that need to be fixed.

I think it is a great idea. This is what I was hoping the Thunder would be like when I first heard about it. I hope RIM decides to do something like this on the near future.

You guys are so negative. I currently have a curve on at&t and I love it, for now. I want either the iphone 3G or the Bold. I just don't get the blanket "I hate Apple" statements. I had the original iphone for 9 months and it was great for what it advertises. I love my curve for the email and keyboard. Just buy what you want and enjoy what you got.

Personally I like the idea. I hate having multiple gadgets, meaning the curve, ipod touch, and gps devices. Every company has it's flaws, but I would have to say this concept is very tempting. When the iphone does cross over I may have to go that route. I love BB, but I think that the apple side has the internet browser down and thats what we need.

I thinks it looks good in a pic, but i wouldn't use it just because the additional size and... i just forgot the other reason

Ooohh, of course, i love my BB!!

This coming from the same guy who only last month slammed physical plastic keyboards on phones... I call bs.

I'm not leaving Sprint for it, but if it was available. I'd hook that sucker up to mobileme and enjoy the ride.

My current Blackberry (8830) doesn't have MMS on it anyway, so that's not something I'll be missing since I don't currently enjoy it.

If anything, I'll miss BB messenger, gtalk and to a lesser extent AIM, as well as Viigo and/or Newsgator Go! although I would be able to access the web version of those and have them sync and look fine on the screen.

if this materializes, i'd jump the berry ship for it. cant argue with that huge screen; my only problem was the virtual keyboard when i owned one.

somehow this has to get to RIM's top planners, Microsoft had started to bang them with things and for sure it won't stop. Apple is coming up with a hardware keyboard, and Mobile(ME). If RIM does not start getting its act together, sooner or later it will be smoked with a handful left... RIM please show us more innovation!

I'm the first to say I LOVVVVE my BB-however an iphone with a keyboard does sound very tempting, I too was hoping the thunder would have a slide out keyboard. I hope RIM will consider something similar-clearly there's a demand for it?

is it just me, or does that keyboard just look uncomfortable to use?? i know this isn't even real, just that design looks, like an old keyboard from a computer, and for how ergonomic and trendy crapple is, those sure are square keys.

Spitting image of the pocket pc (aka PPC)i had back when i was with alltel. That phone was crap and i have a feeling even though its apple it will be a crap phone also.

If Apple does in fact release an iPhone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Steve Jobs/Apple are basically admitting that the virtual keyboard was a flop. Sure, the iPhone has had tremendous success off of it's consumer base, but in order to dominate the smartphone market, you have to take down the juggernaut that is RIM. The only reason why I think a slide out keyboard might be in the works is because even with iPhone 2.0 software/firmware and Exchange support, Apple is probably thinking that it still won't convert BlackBerry users simply because of the keyboard.

But all this is just speculation, we won't know until iPhone 3G is released and or Apple releases a statement. Funny how when the first iPhone was introduced, Steve Jobs mocked the idea of a physical keyboard and the use of a stylus because the touch keyboard was far more simple and better to use...

I wish the Thunder has a slide keyboard. I was excited about it until i found out it would not.

I hate to see apple beat RIM to something they should have been all over.

I'm ramped up to get the BB Bold mostly because I'm pissed at Apple at having held back so much. Their game has been to hold back features so they can keep releasing one carrot at a time to the consumer. I also happen to like a physical keyboard better. I've been playing with the iTouch for quite a while and the touch screen keyboard just isn't my thing. Hence I am opting for a Bold.

Once Apple starts making them with a real keyboard, they may have a real contender then. Still, there's lots of kinks to iron out in the iPhone. BB at least has a successful track record, though they could use more sex appeal in their industrial design. The bold is a step in the right direction.

I'm ramped up to get the BB Bold mostly because I'm pissed at Apple at having held back so much. Their game has been to hold back features so they can keep releasing one carrot at a time to the consumer. I also happen to like a physical keyboard better. I've been playing with the iTouch for quite a while and the touch screen keyboard just isn't my thing. Hence I am opting for a Bold.

Once Apple starts making them with a real keyboard, they may have a real contender then. Still, there's lots of kinks to iron out in the iPhone. BB at least has a successful track record, though they could use more sex appeal in their industrial design. The bold is a step in the right direction.

I'm all for a touch screen phone but I need my keyboard. I guess that's why I loved my Palm Treo 750 so much. I don't think Apple is admitting defeat I just think they are giving more options...

That would be sweet. Currently on the Bold 9000, love it. Only reason I'm swayed by the iPhone is it's presentation/interface and app store