New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Testing Three iPhone 5 Prototypes, One With Slide-Out Keyboard?


Keyboard Buddy Case for iPhone 4

Taiwanese site Apple.pro reports (via AppleInsider) that Apple has been testing three separate prototypes for the fifth-generation iPhone, including one with a slide-out keyboard.

There are three iPhone5 prototype
one is a sliding cover which
Is the introduction of the keyboard after the side cover

Other prototypes are said to be similar to the iPhone 4 except with an upgraded battery and apparently an 8-megapixel camera, up from the 5-megapixel sensor found on the iPhone 4's rear-facing camera. The report likens those prototypes to the transition from iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS, with the same basic design augmented primarily by improvements in the device's internals.

As for claims of a slide-out keyboard, the rumor seems incongruous with Apple's devotion to multi-touch functionality with on-screen virtual keyboards. Normally, we would simply cast such suggestions aside, but Apple.pro has a strong track record of providing leaked information from Apple's product pipeline. Most recently, the site posted photos of a small Apple-branded touchscreen that appeared a few months later in the company's latest iPod nano.

The site also notes several times that these are prototypes, suggesting that the model sporting a slide-out keyboard could simply a design put together by Apple for the purposes of testing out various form factors, and may never be intended for a public release.

Today's report from Apple.pro also reiterates ongoing claims that the next-generation iPad will be thinner and will carry at least one built-in camera.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

44 months ago
Another thread resurrected from the dead :)

So, once more for those who don't know their Apple history:

Steve Jobs NEVER said he didn't like physical keyboards. He said he didn't like keyboards that always take up display space, whether needed or not:

"Here's four smart phones, right? Motorola Q, the BlackBerry, Palm Treo, Nokia E62 -- the usual suspects. And, what's wrong with their user interfaces?

Well, the problem with them is really sort of in the bottom 40 there. It's this stuff right there. They all have these keyboards that are there whether or not you need them to be there. " - Jobs, Jan 2007, iPhone intro


A slide-out keyboard neatly solves that problem... better yet, it leaves the entire display usable, unlike the current on-screen version which obscures half of what you're looking at.
Rating: 3 Votes
48 months ago
Apple would never.
Rating: 2 Votes
43 months ago

Maybe not a keyboard, but I'd like to see them do a gaming keypad, perhaps as part of a case.

Touchscreens are awful for some games.


It would be nice if they came out with an official gamepad - then all the app developers would have a single device to target.
Rating: 2 Votes
48 months ago



Secondly it would mean they had lost their minds and started adding things that are going extinct to their hardware.


Extinct??? :rolleyes:

I used to have a touch-screen Universal remote control a long time ago. I threw it out. Why? You can't "feel" a touch-screen button and operate it in the dark. Sometimes touch-screens blow chunks for certain applications. The addition of an optional real keyboard that takes up virtually no space and is hidden away is a very good thing IMO, but then I don't drink Apple Kool-Aid and say the world is ending because Apple suddenly does something smart for once (contrary to their usual pig-headed ways of thinking like with the one-button mouse and then the "hidden 2nd button because we cannot admit we were wrong" mouse followed by even more attempts to avoid just admitting that the PC got it right from the start.
Rating: 1 Votes
48 months ago

For awhile PowerPC *was* better. Things change.


... at least initially for code hand-written in assembler for AltiVec ;)

Apple kept the "faster" line in advertising, though, long after NetBurst was commonly outperforming PowerPC. Steve and Phil had to get very creative when choosing benchmarks for the "SteveNote bakeoffs" to find some narrow application/dataset combination where PPC would beat Intel.

The fans didn't catch on to the deceit, though.
Rating: 1 Votes
48 months ago

You know, I'm totally not an advocate of replacing keyboards with screen keybaords (I mean full size keyboards). In fact, that's a huge reason why if I had to lug something as big as an ipad around I'd rather just have my 13" MBP that has a keyboard too.


I don't think anyone is suggesting that a slide-out keyboard model would have to eliminate the touch-screen keyboard. You could pick and choose and I dare say there are plenty of times I wish I had a real little keyboard on my iPod Touch and even more when I wish there were little gamepad type buttons around the edge (your fingers tend to block the screen when gaming and that sucks for some games).
Rating: 1 Votes
44 months ago
Haven't we been down this road? I highly doubt we will ever see a physical keyboard... if you want a physical keyboard then by a keyboard and doc stand.
Rating: 1 Votes
43 months ago

No way. Steve Jobs would not make a device thicker let alone adding a physical keyboard when the touch keyboard has worked above average since 2007.


Maybe not a keyboard, but I'd like to see them do a gaming keypad, perhaps as part of a case.

Touchscreens are awful for some games.
Rating: 1 Votes
44 months ago
No, Apple will not have a slide out keyboard in the next iphone watch the first iphone keynote, steve jobs ********** hates them trust me
Rating: 1 Votes
48 months ago

Not sure why Jobs has such a disdain for miniature keyboards, having used one for several years its one of the few things I miss since getting an iPhone. I would like to see a comparison study of which is faster for most users, touch or tactile.


go to you tube, physical keyboard slaughters then onscreen every single time.

once you get used to typing on a physical keyboard you can type without looking at least 20x faster than an OSK because of muscle memory and tactile feedback.

Slide-out keyboard would up sales immensely.

Everyone would have an iPhone. EVERYONE.


not until they ditch their stupid propriatary port for a micro usb, add removable/expandable battery, and add removable storage (SDXC currently supports 2TB, dont tell me that 16gb is good enough for all time)
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]