HTC will not bringing any more handsets with physical keyboards to market any time soon, hammering another nail in the coffin of a feature that once looked to be a smartphone fixture.
The Taiwanese gadget-maker confirmed it has no plans to produce any more phones featuring a QWERTY keypad at the Frequencies media gathering in Seattle.
Addressing delegates at the event, HTC creative director Claude Zellweger said: “As a company, the QWERTY keyboard [is something] we’re moving away from in general.”
According to Pocket-Lint, the move is likely to be at least partly due to the weaker-than-expected sales showing of the HTC ChaCha, whose combination of a keyboard, advanced social networking smarts and a budget price failed to sway punters.
The fact that Android is also optimised for large touchscreens, rather than kits whose screen size is limited by having to squeeze in a keyboard, is also expected to have influenced HTC’s decision.
News of HTC’s change of tack comes after it recently confirmed it has no plans to bundle any more smartphones with Beats by Dre earphones, after including these with the Sensation XE and XL phones failed to stimulate demand.
Earlier this month, HTC announced a 70 per cent fall in profit for the first quarter – the largest drop for over a decade.