BlackBerry made a point of keeping its old-school QWERTY fans onside by announcing the keyboard-equipped Q10 alongside the all-touch Z10 at the BlackBerry 10 launch a couple of weeks ago.
Former business phone rival Nokia, however, feels differently and has all but ruled out the possibility of a QWERTY Lumia Windows Phone ever seeing the light of day.
Nokia Germany product manager David Akinjise told WMPowerUser that the level of demand simply didn't make it worthwhile.
“Nokia concentrates on the consumers’ demand and QWERTY models are not being requested that much,” Akinjise said. “It is no secret that touch-only devices are actually the most wanted devices, and Nokia wants to focus on the customers’ desires.”
Back in the Symbian days, Nokia produced a diverse line of QWERTY devices, from candybar-style handsets in the BlackBerry mould to slide-out QWERTY handsets such as the Nokia E7 (pictured above), one of the last high-end Symbian Nokias to emerge before the company decided to switch to Windows Phone.
Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer hinted ahead of the launch of the first Lumia phones in 2011 that part of the appeal of working with Nokia was the product diversity the Finns brought to the table. 18 months or so later, it seems that diversity has evaporated somewhat.
Nokia has followed up Akinjise's comments by stressing that he was simply talking about where the company saw most demand, and wasn't officially ruling out a QWERTY Lumia altogether.