Touchscreen vs QWERTY vs T9: What’s Best?

I still remember my first mobile phone like it was yesterday! It was a Nokia 1010 and it was so cool back then. I could send text messages, call my friends and even play snake on it :D.  Not a lot but it was so nice to have a mobile :P!

Later on I have tested and owned quite a few mobiles and from Nokia I switched to Sony Ericsson, to HTC back to  Nokia and of course iPhone. Using all these models I had the opportunity to try T9 mobiles, QWERTY phones and touch screens and  each time I changed my phone I needed a short period to adapt  to the keyboard, menu, functionality, ringtone and other small things that each phone has.

However I guess the biggest changes were when I switched from T9 to QWERTY and from QWERTY to touch screen, each time I felt a big improvement and finally after all these years of testing and switching back and forth I can say: my favorite mobile phones are the touchscreen ones :).

Last week, reading my RSS feeds I stumbled upon very interesting stats. According to TomiAhonen Consulting here is the percentage of all mobile phones sold in 2009 by input method:

  • Touch screen input only ………………11%
  • QWERTY input only …………………..13%
  • Combo input Touch and keypad ………3%
  • Basic T9 keypad only …………………73%
    Source: TomiAhonen Consulting 2010

Pretty interesting to see how T9 mobiles still dominate the market by far! But how will these stats look in 3 years time, or even 5? Do you think they will change and if yes who is going to win and who will lose the market share?

What will be your next phone a T9, QWERTY or touch screen?

Here at Nimbuzz we like to look at mobile trends and to anticipate the future of  the mobile communications as you might have read on our blog, so we are really curios to know what’s your take on this.

29 thoughts on “Touchscreen vs QWERTY vs T9: What’s Best?

  1. i don’t think that in 3 o 5 years the balance will change, the vast majority only use the phone for calling, so, they don’t need smartphones, touch screens or any more complex than a few keys with big numbers in it.

  2. after using an iPhone i noticed that the greatest advantage of touchscreen is the ability to navigate faster in the phone. Typing is not so fundamental as other uses are accelerated.

  3. when it comes to ease of use and for daily rough use purposes, qwerty fones like nokia Eseris are the best! They are fully functional like swiss knifes, looks cool and comes affordable price too..

  4. I have personally been through t9, only qwerty, combo qwerty/t9 and touch and I gotta say I feel most comfortable with only touch. Add android and the availability of different keyboard styles for that platform and you’ve got a winner in my opinion.

  5. i believe eventually qwerty phones will rule the world. For now qwerty are only suitable for people with tiny fingers. But as the phones are getting bigger and broader, qwerty will take over. Meanwhile, the war is between touchscreen and qwerty. The sensitivity of touchscreen ( i mean they are only suitable for females) will not make the phones saleable in the nearby future.

  6. my choice goes to… qwerty+touch (hybrid)

    for me qwerty is a must, touch is a bonus.
    using a touch screen to write long message make my hand got a carpal syndrome. really… after typing a lot in touch screen, my hand feel very stiff.

    therefore… once again… qwerty is a must, touch is a bonus. which mean, if i must choose between qwerty and touch, i choose qwerty.

  7. I have a touchscreen now, because I want a big screen for media consumption, but really I prefer T9 for text input because you can do it one handed and it’s more accurate than using touch. A large screen clamshell would be my dream phone.

  8. In my view qwerty keypad is the future!
    Touchscreen is funky and easy to use but when it comes to typing qwerty is the best bet! My vote will be for hybrid ones qwerty as well as touchscreens!

  9. Hmmm…, my choice is QWERTY input (Nokia E71).
    I have used all three input methods.
    If i have to give numbers then i will give it like this,
    1. QWERTY
    2. T9
    3. TouchScreen
    According to me
    QWERTY is for proffessionals and youngsters, who require lot of typing for Email and SMS.
    T9 is for all.
    TouchScreen is for those who wants style and something different then others. Mainly for multimedia users, not for SMS or Email users.

  10. @all
    Thanks guys for all your comments and feedback, is so interesting to read your comments and opinions :)

  11. i love T9, i can type without even looking to pads.and it really some time helps me to write correct spellings.i will rate as
    1st ….T9
    2nd … Touch screen

  12. Hey everybody,

    Thanks a lot for your comments. I am so glad to see so many interesting opinions and different arguments. :)

  13. First and foremost i really love smartphones. It’s amazing to have something in your pocket all the time that can handle anything. It’s for this reason i believe a combo is best. The others are all ok i guess but i have a nokia n97. It comes with an inbuilt qwerty with nav pad and alternate character modes with the option of using the touch screen as a typing interface as well. So say i need to type in a hurry i can use the qwerty with its large buttons adequately spaced for comfort. On the other hand i can go for style and leisure and use the touchscreen interface that also includes T9. My last 4 phones have been N97 of course, nokia E71, iphone and N95 out of all of these N97 pleasantly surprises at every eventuality.

  14. I think it’s very coincidence that Nokia just anounce their X3-02 Touch and Type.

    Touch + T9 Combo

  15. hi, i used T9, touchscreen and QWERTY but qwerty is the best im feeling comfort then touch t9 also gud I used N73, E90, touch, N97, E63 and now E72 and my friends E63 and E71 and E72

  16. From my candid opinion, I think that querty keypad is the best. Talking from experience, with T9, you still need to select the correct spellings from options but this is not so with qwerty. Touch pad is just for fashion.

  17. I prefer qwerty keypad, as I can shoot the messages quite fast and, its very nice for chatting purpose. Qwerty is more suitable for my fingers and i beleive qwerty phones are must for day to day chatting with friends.. Nokia, e series and blackberry provides a variety of choice.

  18. I’m using a blackberry with qwerty and i love it for the feel of it, and it is irreplaceable, progression from a t9 was also a decision and i took time to adjust to it, but now it runs in my fingers like a charm.

    Now i want to go for a HTC Incredible S/DELL Venue/Android based stuff cause i want android, but these guys dont have anything good in the qwerty space and they are bulky and ugly. Now i do not know whether i’ll be able to like a touch cause for me, a realistic transition time to a new phone is 2 weeks with regular use, therefore any demo at the retail shop doesnt help me and i end up delaying the purchase, but now to get things straight and for the love of enhanced features, i might take the plunge in the next few days. swype might prove good, but it sure cant replace the ‘kit kit tik tik’ sound of the qwerty,

    Anyone with a similar preference in phone types to pls post if your have anything recommendations..

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