Is the physical mobile keyboard dead in your opinion? I have to reluctantly suggest that it is unless someone comes up with a fantastic new design.
With my PDAs, I invariably bought a physical keyboard. The one thing I liked about my Blackberry Curve was its physical keyboard. I owned a T-Mobile Wing which had a slideout physical keyboard. (About the only thing about that phone I did like). But since the advent of touchscreen phones, I've never used a physical keyboard nor particularly had a desire to do so. I did use a physical keyboard with my iPad when I owned it and if I ever own another 10" tablet I will probably buy a keyboard for it. But for smaller devices like phones and 7" tablets, I just don't see a need for them considering that the built-in onscreen keyboards suffice. And I think that for most folks, physical keyboards really are dead. (When I watch some of these young'uns banging out texts at a million words a minute on a smartphone keyboard, I am in absolute awe!)
No way are they dead!
Teenagers crave for keyboards and they are the future users!
I guess that the demand for keyboards may diminish over time, probably a long time, but I doubt that it will disappear completely, until a radical new interface turns up which can replace the keyboard.
I still have a preference for a physical keyboard, but I could do without it on a mobile device as I currently don't use it for data entry, only reference, from data input from my desktop. I may update or supplement, but not type out huge amounts.
Back in the PDA days, I used FITALY, and used it quite a lot, even data entry, but it had the advantage of stylus use, and the whole keyboard was available, alphabet, numbers and national characters, without shift, number or a symbol button. But because a stylus was used, the accuracy was higher, and for me, faster than when you use these big blunt pointing instruments we currently use (fingers).
On tablets no, look at the Transformers and Surface. There's demand for that, including from me.
Swype makes a touch screen good enough for the kind of text entry most of us are likely to do on a phone, so the added bulk of a physical keyboard isn't worth the improved tactility.
If you're talking about the keyboards as used to be on the BlackBerry or Treo, then I would say probably yes. The demand for screen size for things other than texting or emailing means that people will put up with a software keyboard. I've always been surprised that there haven't been more slide out keyboard designs. Certainly someone could design a thin but strong keyboard that slides out the bottom of the phone. I know there are add ons for the iPhone.
As for a separate physical keyboard, I suspect that it will be an option for a lot of people, but that most vendors, Microsoft excluded, won't supply with the device, even as an option. There's a psychological factor in the sale. Adding a keyboard makes the device look much like a small laptop. I'm sure that Apple, for example, wants to make sure that the iPad looks like a different device. Besides, not everyone wants a keyboard and producing a model with and without complicates things. Notice how few models Apple has.
Form over function unfortunately. On screen keyboards were invented to allow small amounts of input. You need a large screen for content consumption. Keyboard and styli are for content creation.
I would be very happy with a Nokia E6 and a Nexus 7 or a modern Nokia Communicator (will never happen!).
although they are somewhat of a minority interest they are still alive, particularly in the USA
for me there are two key benefits: firstly you can type quickly and accurately. secondly you can see the entire screen whilst entering text. I think the latter is why the Galaxy Note has been popular, the screen is big enough to allow a virtual keyboard without obscuring most of the screen!
** back to the USA bit:
even just recently Sprint launched their version of the Droid, called the Photon Q
late last year T-Mobile launched the HTC Doubleshot, which they called the MyTouch4GSlide. Recently they announced a new keyboarded phone from ZTE or Huawei (I forget which) and a keyboarded version of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the T699 whose name was the Blaze Q but now the Relay 4G
I previously had a DesireZ but now have a Doubleshot. It means I can browse LostInMobile and type a comment very quickly. I can run ssh (secure shell) and login to a server at work over a VPN (because my phone is rooted) and fix stuff or at least get to the part of considering booting my laptop* to fix stuff.
* my work laptop has an encrypted hard drive so sleeping and suspending gets quite "interesting", and since linux boots in 30 seconds it's not a big problem.
I still find that I can enter text more efficiently using a hardware keyboard. I can type slightly faster using my iPhone or iPod but I make more mistakes or the auto-correct changes the text from what I intended to say. This means that the total time to enter text becomes greater with virtual keyboards. All other things being equal I would still choose a hardware keyboard. The problem is though that choice is very limited and seems to be getting worse.