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

165928 iphone 4 keyboard buddy case
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 Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

kdarling Avatar
143 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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
141 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darthraige Avatar
147 months ago
Apple would never.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
141 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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zim Avatar
143 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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macman312 Avatar
143 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
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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