Those of us who have owned an iPhone are familiar with the multitouch keyboard and overall interface of Apple’s smartphone. According to ex-Apple executive Tony Fadell, an iPhone with a physical keyboard made the final list of 3 prototypes before getting scrapped just before launch in January, 2007.
According to Apple Insider:
Fadell, who officially left Apple in 2008 but was kept on the payroll as a special advisor to the late Steve Jobs until 2010, worked on 18 versions of the iPod as well as the iPhone up to the 3GS before leaving to start “smart thermostat” company Nest.
Steve Jobs sided with Fadell on the final decision to make it a virtual keyboard and the rest is history. Would the iPhone have been as popular as it is today if it had looked something like the rendition above?
- Hardware Keyboard Was “Seriously Considered” For Original iPhone (geeky-gadgets.com)
- On The Verge episode 005 teaser: Tony Fadell talks about early iPhone prototypes (theverge.com)
- Early iPhone prototype had a hardware keyboard (iphonelife.com)
- The iPhone Almost Had a Physical Keyboard [REPORT] (mashable.com)
- Apple once toyed with physical keyboards for the first iPhone (ubergizmo.com)