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The two form factors for phones

Davey Winder on the BlackBerry Bold versus the iPhone:

“Having lived with an iPhone for some time, and being in possession of relatively fat fingers, I beg to differ. It is all too easy to slip up on the virtual iPhone keyboard and not get rescued by the often irritating auto-correct system.

The tactile feedback of a proper, albeit shrunken, keyboard makes for more efficient text input even for the fat fingered amongst us.”

Davey makes a good point. I’m a small-fingered guy, and I’m now at the point with the iPhone’s on-screen keyboard where I can thumb-type as well as I could with my old BlackBerry 8800. But for lots of people, the iPhone keyboard just doesn’t work for anything other than hunt-and-peck with a single finger, which makes it much slower than a BlackBerry.

That’s one of the reasons that I think the smartphone market will shake out to two main forms, and probably two manufacturers: the keyboard-less iPhone-style design, which focuses on browsing and video; and the keyboard-based BlackBerry-style, which is more focused on email and text. Which is right for you will depend not just on your needs, but also your fingers.

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