I used to be a stickler for the physical keyboard. That’s why I got the HTC Legend, the Nokia E71, and the Palm Pre 2. They all had physical keyboards, because I didn’t want to wrap my head around a virtual keyboard. That’s changed now, but there are still people out there who like the physical feel of keys. And for those people, there is the QWERTY-packing Spike case for iPhone.
Designed by SoloMatrix, the Spike case is a protective case for the iPhone, except it comes with a clever bonus. The bottom half contains a QWERTY keyboard that can swing out to the front when you need it, and swing around to the back when you don’t. There are two similar designs–the Spike1 and the Spike2–the key difference being that the Spike2 allows the keyboard to flip a full 180-degrees to the back. With the Spike 1, the keyboard only swings out to the side for removal.
What’s great is that neither case requires a Bluetooth connection or external power, so your battery life should be better than the wireless alternatives. The initial run will call for versions in Pitch Black and Ice White. Solomatrix is currently seeking funding by way of a Kickstarter project. If the plan goes ahead, the expected retail will be $35 for the Spike1 and $60 for the Spike2. The current designs are for the iPhone 4/4S, but there are plans for an iPhone 5 version by January.