Why is AT&T asking if you want an iPhone with a hardware keyboard?

AT&T asking if you want an iPhone with a hardware keyboard?

AT&T seems to be conducting an online survey, asking customers if they'd like an iPhone with a hardware keyboard.

Which one smartphone, if any, would you most likely consider buying if they were all using the iOS (Apple) operating system.

Along with the traditional full touchscreen slab (think all iPhone models to date, four other options are presented:

  1. Front-facing QWERTY (think BlackBerry Bold
  2. Vertical slider (think HP Pre)
  3. Horizontal slider (think Droid)
  4. Extended front-facing QWERTY (think Droid Pro)

Apple hasn't ever offered any type of hardware keyboard on any iOS device, and I doubt that's going to change any time soon. iPhone 5 almost certainly won't have a hardware keyboard, and even if Apple decides to pull the trigger on a lower-priced iPhone for emerging markets, it's hard to imagine them putting a hardware keyboard on that either. So why exactly AT&T is testing these waters is unknown. (Unless Samsung is doing some stealth product research...)

[Thanks to Phil from Android Central passing this on.]

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.