For about 6 years I've had 2 cell (I know that's an old name but that's what it was when I first got one in the 90s) phones, one for business and one for personal use. While it's a pain to carry 2 phones... it does give me some flexibility in my mobile devices, carriers, data plans and usage. My primary personal phone is on Sprint and I've gone from a regular dumbphone to a feature phone to a WinMo HTC Touch Pro and now a Palm Treo Pro. I've always liked Windows Mobile, the platform is fairly open, I don't require lots of customization, I like resistive touch screens and it does what I need to do. Why I went from an HTC Touch Pro to a Palm Treo Pro is a long story involving 4 hardware replacements (the TP's screen just kept going out) and finally realizing I prefer the portrait keyboard ala Blackberry style.
And since I'm mentioning them, RIM just announced their new OS, Blackberry 6, which catches them up with the iOS/Android features and a new form factor, a sliding portrait keyboard touchscreen phone like the Palm Pre called the Blackberry Torch:
My second phone was on AT&T (Cingular before that) and also went the dumbphone to smartphone route and until recently was stuck at the HTC Tilt for 3 years. Again, it was WinMobile, had a slide out qwerty, touchscreen and for the most part was very reliable. The last 6 months or so, the battery went weird, it would not hold a charge for more than 5-10 minutes so I always had to have it plugged in and almost replaced it with an iPhone 3GS last year. I wanted to either get an Android phone (AT&T's choices were limited or none) or the HP Glisten... which is another WinMo phone with a portrait keyboard. But I wanted to see what the new iPhone 4 was going to be and if AT&T would come out with some other Android or WinMo offering. Once I saw the features of the new iPhone, I couldn't resist the pixel density of the IPS LCD, or what Jobs calls the Retina Display. And knowing I could jailbreak if needed, I made the move. At the same time, I had hoped that the rumors of an HD Mini would come out for AT&T... running WinMo but having that smaller form factor. But with MS announcing Windows Phone 7 (which I'm not a fan of), that chance was slim, and instead, the same hardware came out from HTC but it was an Android phone called the Aria.
Which brings me to my perfect phone. I really like the portrait keyboards and having my Palm Treo Pro, I've come to like their layout and how they've changed it to match the needs of the times. Their current layout on the Pre and Pixi is great and while some people don't like the rubberized key feel, I find it works for me. And while I wish HP would get their act together with the more superior webOS, Android is gaining too much marketshare and momentum to ignore. So the OS of choice right now would be Android. I also like that they have the option of a separate navigation device in the trackpad so you don't always have to rely on touch and it's also much more precise.
This brings me to this shoddily put together phone I would like to see:
Yes... it's a Palm Pixi body with an Android OS. I lowered the keyboard to make room for the bigger screen and the Android buttons/optical trackpad. If Sprint can come out with something like this, I'll pay full price.
Why is RIM the only one doing portrait keyboard phones? There is a market for this... at least for me.