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Nokia E7

It's no secret that physical QWERTY keyboards are a bit of a dying breed in the smartphone world, with store shelves now being populated almost exclusively with full-touch handsets that offer very few actual buttons. While keyboards aren't totally extinct quite yet, many manufacturers are focusing their efforts on touch-only units, including Nokia. The folks at WMPowerUser recently sat down for an interview with David Akinjise, product manager for Nokia Germany, and the exec explained that there's just not much consumer demand for QWERTY keyboards right now. Because of this, Nokia has been placing its attention on full-touch handsets. Here's Akinjise's full response to WMPowerUser's question on the market for QWERTY devices:

"Nokia concentrates on the consumers’ demand and QWERTY models are not being requested that much. It is no secret that touch only devices are actually the most wanted devices, and Nokia wants to focus on the customers’ desires."

As I noted before, we've seen several companies avoid QWERTY models lately. HTC revealed last year that it'd be moving away from keyboard-equipped devices, and indeed, just about every recent HTC smartphone has been a touch-only model. Even BlackBerry, a company known for its smartphone keyboards, opted to release the full-touch Z10 first with the launch of BlackBerry 10, with the QWERTY-clad Q10 model expected later this year. It's not clear exactly why the demand for keyboarded phones isn't there, but some factors that could be playing a role include increasing screen sizes, demand for thin and light devices and the improved quality of virtual keyboards. Where do you all stand on the physical keyboard vs. full-touch debate? Do you find that you're unable to live without real buttons beneath your thumbs or are you the all touch, all the time type?

Via WMPowerUser


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