Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Who took away my Qwerty Android phone?

Many of us have gone through this. We were in love with our Qwerty/Blackberry phones - we typed and typed on them; we were in love with the tactile feel. Even when the Touch smartphones arrived, we were the last of the tribe to go for them, dreading till the last moment how, in the name of all the phone gods, were we going to type fast on them.

Much battery juice and data plan bandwidth has flown by till then. Who knew typing on a Touch smartphone was going to be so easy?

But, tell me this: who knew we were going to miss the soft tactile crunch of the real keyboard? Friends tell me they buy Touchscreen phones for themselves and gift Qwerty phones to their parents, who have always voted for solidity in all things in life, including phones. Some friends see young people chat away on WhatsApp, and they miss their BBM messaging and SMS-chatting days of past. They say typing on Qwerty phones is faster and familiar as they are with working on computers.

Which brings me to my central point: There will always be a demand for Qwerty phones. Let me correct myself. There will always be a demand for Qwerty smartphones - bringing the best of both worlds of Smartphone Touch OS and the likeable click-clack of real keypads.

Be that as may, most of big smartphone brands have sort of given up on making Qwerty smartphones. The last big brand model in this corner of the mobile play field was HTC Chacha. That was a cute one, that phone.

Tentpole launches from big brands give heart to other players to play catch up and launch better-priced phones and then the market is better and more wholesome for it. Where is my Samsung Galaxy Qwerty version, one might ask?

Thankfully, mid-sized phone brands have not given up on Qwerty phones, and I thank them for it. To be trying to keep a tradition of Qwerty alive, they deserve something of a Nobel prize of Mobility.

And the market has responded well. It was heartening to see the positive response to recently launched Qwerty Android phones. Take for example, the Stellar 360 from Spice Mobiles, which I hear is selling well. Here's to more Qwertified times.

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