updated 02:15 pm EDT, Fri April 20, 2012
HTC thinks hardware keyboards hurt progress
HTC has kept itself in the limelight in the past day with both revelations of a shift in its attitude towards touch as well as shipping its first LTE-equipped One X. Speaking at the company's Freqs event in Seattle, creative lead Claude Zellweger told MobileBurn and others in attendance that HTC was backing away from hardware keyboards. Partly echoing what the late Steve Jobs said in 2007, he saw physical keyboards as still having some interest but ultimately being obstacles. Going all-touch let HTC have the freedom to design the way it wanted.
"We feel that putting too much effort into that [hardware keyboard design] would take away from our devices," Zellweger said.
Jobs in unveiling the iPhone noted that hardware keyboards created an inherent interface problem as they were fixed in place and couldn't be changed if the designer wanted to add a new feature later. Outside of this, the physical shape also usually has to be thicker and can limit other features like the camera placement or the screen size.
Simultaneously, HTC has shipped the Rogers edition of the One X. The Canadian carrier's model is the first with LTE to ship, beating the AT&T version, and shares the switch from a quad-core Tegra 3 to a dual-core Snapdragon S4. Rogers sells the phone for $170 on a three-year contract and $575 contract-free.