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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    I want to start this off by saying, this is not an attempt at snark. This is a serious question.

    With all the people abandoning BlackBerry, is there a market for a high-end keyboard Android device with a Bold form factor?

    I use a 9900 right now. It's great as a communicator, but I want more. Well, I want tighter integration to Google services, and I want better Exchange support (out of the box please, no BES). BB10 looks really awesome, but I have this sinking feeling that the major apps just aren't going to be there. I just heard back from Lastpass, and they said "We'll be supporting BB10 with our Android apps via the Android player, hopefully that provides a solution for you." Not really, sorry. I was hoping for a natively written Lastpass app that tightly integrates into the BB10 browser.

    Anyway, no matter what happens with BB10, BlackBerry is shedding users, and they have to go somewhere. I've been using a keyboard BlackBerry for ten years, and I'm very leery of touchscreen keyboards. Is that without cause? For you people who were once hardware keyboard users, how do you find the touchscreen? Is Swiftkey or Swype just as fast and easy to use?

    So, is there a market? I've done some digging around and found what I think is all the qwerty phones. The Motorola Admiral has the "look" I was looking for, but the specs are seriously awful. The Droid 4 seems to be the highest spec phone, but I don't like the sideways slider. The whole point of a keyboard for me, is that it is always there, right there.

    I'm thinking GS3/1x+ type specs, but Bold form factor. Would people buy it? Or is desire for qwerty candybar dead in the eyes of consumers?

    I'd buy one. In fact if I could buy one I'd be heading out early from work today to pick one up.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    There is a market, but a limited one. Ever hear of the Motorola Charm? Or the Droid Pro XT610 (available in Canada only, home of the BB, as far as I know)? Not too many other people have. They both share the form factor that you are referring to, although neither would qualify as high-end, even on the date of their release. I have a friend who has many of the same feelings as you do on this topic, including lack of enthusiasm about sliders. He actually still carries around a Charm that he has had for two years, so there are liked minded people out there. The problem is that he is the only person I know that feels strongly about it. I do know some people that prefer a BB for texting/email, but I don't think any of them would choose that form for multi-media consumption. Most people place more emphasis on the size and quality of the screen, and unless you have a pretty massive device, it is not going to have a standard ratio screen with a keyboard at the bottom. That means that you are going to have to watch cropped or letterboxed Netflix and YouTube videos, which reduces the effective size of the display even further. So, in short, there is a market out there for this type of device, but probably not large enough to justify the R&D to come out with the high end device that you want.
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Number 6 View Post
    There is a market, but a limited one. Ever hear of the Motorola Charm? Or the Droid Pro XT610 (available in Canada only, home of the BB, as far as I know)? Not too many other people have. They both share the form factor that you are referring to, although neither would qualify as high-end, even on the date of their release. I have a friend who has many of the same feelings as you do on this topic, including lack of enthusiasm about sliders. He actually still carries around a Charm that he has had for two years, so there are liked minded people out there. The problem is that he is the only person I know that feels strongly about it. I do know some people that prefer a BB for texting/email, but I don't think any of them would choose that form for multi-media consumption. Most people place more emphasis on the size and quality of the screen, and unless you have a pretty massive device, it is not going to have a standard ratio screen with a keyboard at the bottom. That means that you are going to have to watch cropped or letterboxed Netflix and YouTube videos, which reduces the effective size of the display even further. So, in short, there is a market out there for this type of device, but probably not large enough to justify the R&D to come out with the high end device that you want.
    I hadn't seen of the XT610 in particular, but I think it's an earlier model of the Droid Pro series (DROID Pro by MOTOROLA - Business Cell Phone - Motorola Mobility LLC. USA), which seems like a business oriented phone, as opposed to the Defy Pro (MOTOROLA DEFY PRO - Water Resistant Dustproof Android Smartphone - Long Battery Life - Life Proof - Motorola Mobility LLC. Canada Limited) which seems to be more of a consumer phone. Then there is the Admiral (Motorola Admiral - Sprint Android Smartphone with Push-To-Talk - Motorola Mobility LLC. USA), but I don't know where that one is supposed to fit in. Any of these would be great if the specs weren't so underpowered, and stuck on Froyo and Gingerbread.

    I am a little bit astonished by the lack of a high end keyboard Android, and that there isn't a big market out there for people who want a pure communication device, but don't want a BlackBerry. Are people really constantly watching video on their phone and playing games? Doesn't anybody actually use their phones for actual work? Writing emails? Actual communication? Or is that why people carry two devices?
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamschuetze View Post
    I am a little bit astonished by the lack of a high end keyboard Android, and that there isn't a big market out there for people who want a pure communication device, but don't want a BlackBerry. Are people really constantly watching video on their phone and playing games? Doesn't anybody actually use their phones for actual work? Writing emails? Actual communication? Or is that why people carry two devices?
    You get used to typing on the screen after a while, but if I am alone, I just input my emails and texts verbally. The voice recognition on Android devices is pretty good, and the more you use it the more accurate it is. It also recognizes common swear words, so be aware of that is you are talking about a trucking company!
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    I would be out right now to buy one!
    Same reasons. For work we have been using the galaxy S2. Now swapping over to galaxy s3. I recommended them both to my manager and the whole company is using these phones now. I am talking about 12 mobiles atm but the business is only a year old. In a year we are looking to expand to 200 staff and at least 100 mobiles! I would not hesitate swapping for a decent android phone that looks just like the BB Bold.
    I hate the galaxy with a passion. Correction, I hate the touch type interface with a passion. I have been using touchscreen for 2 years and I still get every other word wrong. Swipe or type just doesn't work for me. And many of our staff are complaining too.
    It is very frustrating as other functions of the phones are amazing.
    I have been hoping for an android that looks and handles like the BB Bold. So many people are fed up with the touch type screens and there are no alternatives.
    It is unbelievable!!!!
    BB/RIM is an ***** for not making android phones as they are loosing customers for android, like me unhappy but I won't swap back over to BB now.
    All the other makers are missing out as they could get the hesitant BB users if only there was a decent phone to swap for. What's more they would not leave the brand ever if there was a phone to keep there.
    Sometimes I think there are no one with common sense in the headquarters of these massive companies. They are all sitting there and playing with their phones and don't see that lots of us would want a powerful phone for work and not just to watch youtube videos.
    I understand that sales would be slower but I think it would be a very important brand presence for Samsung or LG or any other to make a decent workhorse android. Even if they do not make huge profit on sales their brand image would be elevated. Imagine business users swapping to Samsung Bold. Everyone would want one.
  6. #6  
    nrm5110's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    First off I use my phone all the time for work and emails I dislike physical keyboards now that I'm used to the touchscreen, and far more accurate.

    To the fool saying these businesses would do well to make a high end keyboard phone. You are what's called a niche market for their target demographic Samsung sold some 20million gs3's in like 90 days and multiple millions on the note 2. Numbers don't lie Sammy has covered their bases and are raking in more than bb has in ages. In the ever evolving smartphone world you want the biggest chunk of the pie you can grab bb's couple % of smartphone users aren't really enough to justify putting the time money and effort into it especially since most bb users left them long ago :rolleyes:.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
  7. #7  
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    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    My daughter loves her MyTouch 4g slide cause the keyboard is really simple and convenient to use. And I admit that the few times I have used it I liked it.

    But they make the phones heavier and thicker - which is why I believe we are seeing fewer and fewer each year. I believe we will get down to a total of about a dozen total token devices from all manufacturers at some point in the near future.

    Friends I know who have switched from BB to Android have all been frustrated by the screen keyboard. So I introduce them to swift key or swype and that alleviates most of their issues (and a few even love those products!).
  8. #8  
    A-android-B's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    +1 to swype, way faster than a physical keyboard for me. It's almost like talking with your finger

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  9. #9  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    I'll take anyone up on the challenge between typing on a touchscreen and a physical keyboard.
    Have easily beaten anyone that uses a touchscreen with my old motomilestone, regardless of which software they use.
    (mostly some IT people, discussions are easily won by such tests)
    They just thought they were faster...but in fact were over half as slow.

    In all honesty, figures don't lie that is true, but their interpretation leaves much to be desired!!
    The reason why hardware suppliers don't sell so much qwerty devices in comparison to full touchscreens is because:
    - They don't produce so many devices
    - They are badly advertised
    - They always, always run years behind on technology for no apparent reason but still have a retail price of high end devices

    The truth of the matter is that because the qwerty crowd is so hardcore, manufacturers can shove anything down their throats because they force it to be a niche market though in reality it should not be.
    There hardly is any competition...
  10. #10  
    nrm5110's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    I'll take anyone up on the challenge between typing on a touchscreen and a physical keyboard.
    Have easily beaten anyone that uses a touchscreen with my old motomilestone, regardless of which software they use.

    I really doubt your claims :rolleyes:


    (mostly some IT people, discussions are easily won by such tests)
    They just thought they were faster...but in fact were over half as slow.

    Why does the job matter.

    In all honesty, figures don't lie that is true, but their interpretation leaves much to be desired!!
    The reason why hardware suppliers don't sell so much qwerty devices in comparison to full touchscreens is because:
    - They don't produce so many devices
    - They are badly advertised
    - They always, always run years behind on technology for no apparent reason but still have a retail price of high end devices

    The truth of the matter is that because the qwerty crowd is so hardcore, manufacturers can shove anything down their throats because they force it to be a niche market though in reality it should not be.
    There hardly is any competition...

    The truth is you're a niche market because you are the 1% not because OEMS sit at their desks plotting how to make your lives worse. Get off your high horse and realize most people don't care. Did you know xda and ac together make up less than 1% of all smartphone users in the world and trust me those are two more prominent tack on rootz and you still aren't there yet. Not to mention crossover users. People who talk on here about how OEMS need to do this or that crack me up because you aren't average users you are a drop in a massive freaking bucket. So either ride the wave of change or accept it. The only way to make a change yourself isnt to complain to us but to the OEMS write emails, letters, make phone calls, if you don't you're whining and that's all.



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    I don't even want a qwerty keyboard (too small for my fingers).

    Despite all the years of technological advancement, i still prefer the old school Nokia numeric keypad design.

    I still use my Nokia C5 for calls and texts, i just wish i could put Android on it so i can use all the free apps i use on my Samsung Galaxy S2.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    There might be some hope for us after all. Some OEMs seem to have understood there is a market for a few candybar QWERTY devices. The new NEC terrain has decent(I didn't say great) specs at a reasonable price.
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    From what I can tell, the NEC Terrain is only available through AT&T? Have you ever seen it sold unlocked? I wonder if it would work on Bell Mobility in Canada...
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamschuetze View Post
    From what I can tell, the NEC Terrain is only available through AT&T? Have you ever seen it sold unlocked? I wonder if it would work on Bell Mobility in Canada...
    Unlock codes are pretty easy to come by. I'm buying one to replace my Droid Pro, I will let you know how things turn out.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    I wish somebody would consider my idea for a 2 sided phone. One side would be a full screen like the the S3 or the One and the other side would have a physical keyboard and a small screen. You could then just use whichever side suited your task at hand.
  16. #16  
    SamirPD's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    I'm in the same boat as the op. I actually just moved away from my faithful treo 650 to the nec terrain only because at&t discontinued gprs and edge this month.

    My wife would always chide me about how her iphone 4s was better. My treo's google maps loaded quicker and I could zoom with one hand using the side btutons, not possible even on my new nec. She would always baby her battery while I had a pocket full of spares for the treo. I didn't even remember what a dead battery was like until I got the nec.

    I think the nec may be the solution that the bb crowd has been looking for. it's a very no-nonsense phone that's function over form rather than the other way around.

    But the road for keyboard phones is very limited since consumers have taken over the market. There is always a niche for business phones that do the job and do it well, but the problem is that the touchsceen ios and android platforms are 'good enough'. If businesses aren't willing to pay at least 2x for a superior platform, no one will build it since there's no financial incentive.

    Nec has already pulled out of the us cell phone market, and more than likely, the terrain will be an end-of-the-road product. I'm very happy with the nec as its a durable, does the job every day type of phone. But I can't even find a spare battery for the thing anywhere on the planet--that's how niche this market is. (I've talked to at&t's distributor tessco as well as nec, and a company in japan and no one can even find one with the part numbers straight off the phone.)

    I know we are a niche market, but we're definitely not alone. There wouldn't be addon keyboards for touchscreen phones if there wasn't demand. I just don't know what manufacturer is going to bring us the product we want. Maybe we should start a kickstarter project and do it ourselves, lol.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Is there a market for a high-end candy-bar qwerty Android phone?

    My favorite phone was the Treo Pro. I could zip around that thing one handed. I think a phone like the Terrain would sell a lot better if it had a better screen, better camera, and a more recent version of Android. Because it doesn't, they won't sell nearly as many as they could and conclude there is no market for phones with keyboards.

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