Nokia holds off on QWERTY phone keyboards

Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Lumia phones with a physical keyboard haven't been ruled out, Nokia's smartphone chief said, but the Finnish company would first gauge demand.

"It's really a question, 'Is there a large enough audience out there?' or 'Are the people who have QWERTY today intending to move in this direction?' And we really don't want to be on the wrong side of that movement," Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Smart Devices, told Slash Gear at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Nokia was showing five Windows Phone 8 devices at the congress, none with a physical QWERTY keyboard.

"We still continue to evaluate because we do get the request a lot, and it's funny that there are a lot of people that absolutely want to use a physical keyboard, they like the security of that," Harlow said. "Even though, I think the virtual keyboard of Windows Phone is phenomenal, especially the level of autocorrect, it's really, really good."

"One of the things that we see is that the number of people who are using, or are interested in using, a QWERTY continues to decline."

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