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How will Verizon recognize that there's customer demand for a phone with Qwerty keyboard if they base demand on sales of crappy flip phones?
vkjk
Member

Verizon keeps saying that there is "Not a market" for basic phones with a Qwerty keyboard, so none are being sold.  I challenge the premise as being the reverse - Verizon (and everyone else) has stopped offering such phones, and that is the ONLY reason there is no apparent demand.  If Verizon asked manufacturers to provide such a phone with decent call quality and durability, I am certain there would be demand from many of us.

I love my 3g LG Env-Touch, and I typically have at least one person per week ask where they would be able to get one.  I like the layout of the Qwerty keyboard, and I like having both an internal and external screen, and that is exactly what all the other envious people like about it as well. (no pun intended.)  There is absolutely a market for such a device in 4g and whatever else the 2020 standards will require. 

There may be someone who wants the most basic flip phone to make nothing but voice calls, but I am guessing there are very few.  Not offering a basic phone with the qwerty keyboard is underserving a significant portion of the community.  The lack of interest in the generally crappy barely basic flip phones is not reflective of the many who want a phone that accomodates easy texting with excellent reception and voice.  No data, no social media.  A decent camera would be nice but is not a deal breaker for me.

Some of the old BlackBerry devices with an integrated number pad and Qwerty keyboard would also be very functional, but I would prefer the flip style to protect the keyboard and screen from damage as well as accidental activation.

Re: How will Verizon recognize that there's customer demand for a phone with Qwerty keyboard if they base demand on sales of crappy flip pho
boringusername
Sr. Member

Verizon doesn't make phones. Nor can Verizon force anyone to make phones they do not want to make. No company is going to make phones where there is little demand. Sorry but less than 5% of phone upgrades are basic phones. LG made the Env touch and if you want them to make 4G version you really need to ask them why they won't

Re: How will Verizon recognize that there's customer demand for a phone with Qwerty keyboard if they
JohnS0603
Member

@boringusername:

Your point is noted.  Both the communication-carriers and the manufacturers must perceive that there is still a market for QWERTY flip phones.

However, IMO the approach must be to campaign in front of both camps, the carriers and the manufacturers, not just the one or the other.  If the base of potential users is 'large enough' for those stakeholders to risk 'going backwards', then it could happen.
Those separate stakeholders have to hear the same pitch; otherwise, each will wiggle off by declaring, "well... {they arent making it. they won't carry it} ".  Right?

(As I write this, I am holding the LG enV3 VX9200 which my wife abandoned, some years ago.   It eventually failed because that complicated flatwire cable between the main chassis and the QWERTY chassis just wore out from open-close wear and tear.  Man Frustrated)

JohnS0603

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Re: How will Verizon recognize that there's customer demand for a phone with Qwerty keyboard if they
hearmenow123
Novice

There are a few Android phones under development that have a QWERTY keyboard.

They are expensive because it's being done outside of the general consumer market. You have to special order them. So they are around $600. A far cry from the $100 or less we're used to paying for basic QWERTY flip phones.

Verizon CS tells me these phones can be used on the VZW network if they meet the technical requirements (right LTE bands + VoLTE). 

They are also telling me that you can pick your own plan , i.e. you will not be forced to get a data plan. So you can use it as a basic phone.

These phones are larger and more expensive, but it is the only way I have found that you can still have a basic voice and text service with physical QWERTY keyboard (once CDMA is turned off).

 

Both of the following phones are under development. I placed orders for both. When I have it actually working (or not), I will post an update.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cosmo-communicator/x/21822738

https://www.fxtec.com/pro1/

 

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Re: How will Verizon recognize that there's customer demand for a phone with Qwerty keyboard if they
hearmenow123
Novice

By the way, you can email LG and they _do_ respond. I have emailed them several times on this topic and they said the information has been forwarded to their marketing team. 

Please make your case to them here:

https://www.lg.com/us/support/email-appointment

 

We should do the same for Kyocera. I haven't taken the time to do it yet. Kyocera makes really good phones and their business model seems to be to fill "niches" in the market. I have two Kyocera Brigadiers and they've been hands down the best smart phones I ever had.

 

Re: How will Verizon recognize that there's customer demand for a phone with Qwerty keyboard if they
hearmenow123
Novice

I went to the Verizon store to get a 4G sim card for my basic (talk and text only) plan. This was not a problem.

I bought a Cosmo Communicator which is a flip phone with physical keyboard. It's technically not a basic phone, certainly not priced like a basic phone, however you can in fact use it as a basic talk and text only phone, and you're not required to purchase a data plan.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cosmo-communicator/

I would highly recommend going this route if , like me, you have big hands with big fingers which don't work well with the touch screens or microscopic Blackberry keys.