Many people, myself included, feel that Apple should create an iPhone that comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard. The touchscreen interface is fine and all, but sometimes ripping out those emails with a real keyboard is just a little more satisfying. That’s why enthusiasts have come up with mockups called the iPhone Pro and iPhone Elite.
As far as we know, Apple has no plans on announcing a QWERTY-equipped iPhone Pro or iPhone Elite at Macworld Expo this week, but that doesn’t mean that a physical QWERTY keyboard is not on the way. In fact, even if Apple never makes a physical QWERTY keyboard for the iPhone, we could still get one in the form of a third-party accessory.
Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo came up with the rendering shown here and what it is meant to demonstrate is the possibility of a modular iPhone. The original design can remain largely intact, but additional features (like a QWERTY keyboard) can be added with extra accessories. In this example, you get a clamshell style iPhone with a keyboard, removing it when you don’t desire the extra bulk.
Following this line of thought, it wouldn’t be hard for Apple (or a third-party accessory maker) to produce a series of these modular additions, possibly including a gaming pad, a secondary touchpad, a better camera, or any number of other things. This clamshell QWERTY case for the iPhone just might work, but I think it brings up some issues for answering voice calls, doesn’t it?