Fanboys excited by ancient Google Qwerty Nexus plan
Keyboard smartphone a thing of the past
Claims that Google is to revive smartphones with physical Qwerty keyboards - a rumour based on a patent that shows designs for just an Android handset with a slide-out keyboard - appear unfounded, after closer inspection of the documents show it was actually filed half a decade ago.
The Qwerty keyboard blueprints do appear dated, thanks to their resemblance to T-Mobile's 2008 handset, the G1, several sites reported that the patents were only filed in January 2012 and have been pushed through at an unexpectedly fast rate.
The fact, Google's Android chief, Andy Rubin, had his name attached as the patent's chief inventor apparently spoke volumes too.
The designs were actually filed in August 2007, predating the launch of the T-Mobile G1 by a year.
Filed August 2007. Granted January 2012. Got fanboys leaping May 2012
Alas, the chances that we're about to see the next Nexus rewind time and roll up with a slide-out physical Qwerty keyboard and Android 5.0 Jelly Bean are highly unlikely. Don't hold your breath. ®
Hardware qwerty keyboards FTW
When my G1 contract was up, I had to hang around a while in network limbo to get a HTC Desire Z when they were released, and so not regret it a moment. As my contract is currently counting down, I am starting to get anxious about what will replace the Desire Z - fashions have moved well away from hardware qwerty's (although if the iPhone5 has one, every f'cker will suddenly want one, and Apple fanbois will tell you they invented them) towards slower, clumsier on-screen keyboards.
What I want is...
... a modern phone in a Psion Series 5 (or even Series 3) form-factor. Android or symbian, I don't care - I just want a Psion like phone with a similar keyboard and size.
The Psion Series 5 was an amazing machine, and the keyboard was genius. No-one has produced anything so usable and versatile in such a compact form-factor since.
Re: HTC Desire Z
At the risk of being thought imitative...me too. It does everything just fine. I cannot bear on-screen keyboards.
Bought a second hand one on eBay recently for a test device. Looks like it has had a good life yet is still a great little performer (have stuck CM5 on it) and the keyboard mechanism is impressively solid.
Re: Hardware qwerty keyboards FTW
HTC have said that they will no longer make QWERTYs. I have heard Desire Z owners replacing their devices with Xperia Pros due to the buggyness of the desire Z and being satisfied. I reckon Sony are going to release an Xperia Pro successor so might be one to keep an eye on if you are looking for a future spec-bump.