The chances of a new Nokia handset with a physical QWERTY keyboard are pretty slim, according to bosses talking at MWC this week.
After upping its Lumia line-up with the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 720 in Barcelona this week, the Finnish firm is comfortable with the fact that physical keys are on the way out.
“It’s really a question, “is there a large enough audience out there?” or “are the people who have QWERTY today intending to move in this direction?” and we really don’t want to be on the wrong side of that movement,” Nokia's executive vice president of smart devices Jo Harlow told SlashGear.
Apparently, requests for physical keyboards haven't died out - but a QWERTY renaissance isn't on the cards. When BlackBerry launched its new BB10 operating system, it chose to lead with the BlackBerry Z10 as the flagship device over the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Q10.
“We still continue to evaluate because we do get the request a lot, and it’s funny that there are a lot of people that absolutely want to use a physical keyboard, they like the security of that,” Harlow said.
Whether or not the Q10 does well for BlackBerry could be a sign o' the times for the physical keypad and we expect other manufacturers to be watching closely. If it fails to capture the attention of the market (beyond tie-wearing business folk) then the future looks very bleak indeed.
Nokia hedged its bets somewhat, as Harlow says: “It’s something that we’re constantly looking at: next form-factors, what should we do next.” But we're not holding out breath for an upgraded Nokia Asha 205 anytime soon.
“One of the things that we see is that the number of people who are using, or are interested in using, a QWERTY continues to decline.”
What are your thoughts on the QWERTY form factor? Let us know in the comments box below or through your social network of choice.