You have to hand it to Mat Brady of planetmat and Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo, they’re good at making mockups of dream iPhones. Unfortunately, their dreams are far from my dreams. Just a week after doing an “iPhone Pro” mockup that I ridiculed for including a keyboard, they’re back with another mockup, which, yes, once again has a keyboard.
This new iPhone Pro mockup, which many are already dubbing the “iClamshell” features a screen cover that doubles as a keyboard when you flip it open. Not a bad idea at all — if this were 1999. It’s now 2009, when are we going to move on from what I can’t help think is becoming the adult equivalent of a pacifier — a physical keyboard?
Within the industry, the trend of moving away from the physical keyboard is clear. The Android team is working on a virtual keyboard for its platform so you don’t have to use the G1’s crappy keyboard. BlackBerrys have decent physical keyboards, but those too will soon be virtual as evidenced by the new BlackBerry Storm.
One day in the not too distant future, the physical keyboards on mobile phones will be relics. Phones will all have virtual keyboards with tactile feedback and/or some other method of input (voice) to control the functions.
We’ll give Brady and Diaz somewhat of a pass here because they envision that this could be a third-party add-on that undoubtedly some people will want for now (again, pacifier). Of course, the way this thing is designed, it looks like it would be extremely top-heavy. If you were trying to type with it in your hands, the iPhone top could easily snap right off.
It kind of reminds me of the Xbox controller keyboard add-on (below). Which I’ve never actually heard of anyone buying.