Acer working on Windows Phone 8 QWERTY slider?

The Windows Phone ecosystem is often criticised for the lack of variety in its hardware; the specs of first- and second-generation devices have been broadly similar regardless of manufacturer, while the majority of devices don’t deviate from a touchscreen-only form factor. Dell’s Venue Pro and LG’s Quantum (also known as the Optimus 7Q and C900) deviated from the norm with their portrait and landscape (respectively) sliding keyboards, but these have proved to be the exception rather than the rule.

According to a report from Russia’s Acer Club, a new handset with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard is in development by Acer. Called the W11, it’s expected to target the lower end of the market when it arrives in October, following a September announcement.


Here's one they made earlier: the M900 was an Acer slider with Windows Mobile 6.1 on board.

Its expected arrival date would appear to support the claim that the device will have Windows Phone 8 on board. Back in February, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore revealed in an internal company video that the new version of the mobile OS – also known by its codename, Apollo – will enable manufacturers to create more diverse hardware offerings, so we remain hopeful that ‘alternative’ form factors like QWERTY sliders will become more commonplace when Windows Phone 8 arrives later this year.

Samsung is reportedly working on at least two new Apollo handsets, while Nokia will apparently also launch two devices with Windows Phone 8.

Acer’s first Windows Phone handset, the budget-friendly Allegro, went on sale earlier this year. The company previously released a QWERTY slider, the M900, with a Microsoft mobile OS on board – although that was back in 2009, and the OS was the gone-and-not-missed Windows Mobile 6.1.


Image via Mobile Phones Brands; story via WMPU

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13 Comments

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A QWERTY keyboard is the only thing my Omnia 7 is missing. Come on Samsung, get on this now! I'll definitely take a look at this Acer phone if it comes to be true but I'd really love to stick with Samsung.

TakeNothingBack said,
FINALLY! I need a keyboard!

Why do you need a keyboard?

The OSK of WP7 is amazing.

Of the 40 LG Quantum owners I know, only two still use the physical keyboard.

dotf said,

Why do you need a keyboard?

The OSK of WP7 is amazing.

Of the 40 LG Quantum owners I know, only two still use the physical keyboard.

Some people prefer physical keyboards. I know that my father wants a Windows Phone, but is waiting in hopes of a physical keyboard...

And as for LG, I've never liked their keyboards personally (Or build quality in general), so that might be why your friends don't use them much...

"and the OS was the gone-and-not-missed Windows Mobile 6.1."

Speak for yourself: I really miss all the functionalities WM offered; hopefully WP8 will bring the OS philosophy back to the principles that allowed WM to control almost 50% of the market, a goal that both the iPhone and WP7 cannot even dream.

Fritzly said,

Speak for yourself: I really miss all the functionalities WM offered; hopefully WP8 will bring the OS philosophy back to the principles that allowed WM to control almost 50% of the market, a goal that both the iPhone and WP7 cannot even dream.

I hope you're wrong.
I don't like my phone being a PC. I love WP7 because they adopted a consumer take on electronic devices.
I had a few windows mobiles, and wouldn't go back even if you paid me.

I'm disappointed in the lack of physical keyboards recently. I have a Dell Venue Pro. The only other Windows Phones with physical keyboards are the LG Quantum (probably the worst WP) and the HTC Arrive/7 Pro. All these are first gen devices. Android has also had a lack of physical keyboards on the high end. I didn't realize so many people value thinness over usability.

mrp04 said,
I'm disappointed in the lack of physical keyboards recently. I have a Dell Venue Pro. The only other Windows Phones with physical keyboards are the LG Quantum (probably the worst WP) and the HTC Arrive/7 Pro. All these are first gen devices. Android has also had a lack of physical keyboards on the high end. I didn't realize so many people value thinness over usability.

Right now, only the Motorola Droid 4 is the only high end Android device with a physical QWERTY keyboard that will get Android 4.0 I imagine that some other terminal will come out with stock Android 4.0 and a physical QWERTY keyboard but If I wanted to upgrade from my Desire Z, I would get the Droid 4

Glad to see the 'non-traditional' phone models getting a chance in the market.

This is one area that WP7 has an advantage over the iPhone that hasn't been showcased much, in that it can offer many forms and option.

Even in the Android community most MFRs are moving to iPhone form factors, instead of trying to offer users additional features that Apple doesn't deem worthy.

Even the recent 'Pen' features in phones is nice to see this make a comeback for the users that have a real use for them.

Fred 69 said,
A Dvorak slider would be nice =)

hell, a dvorak software keyboard would be nice.

but i've found it isn't really as bad as a full sized one because you kinda have to look anyways.

Fred 69 said,
A Dvorak slider would be nice =)

I'd love one, but the market share for such a device would be low. Most people would get confused and be slow, plus find it hard to swap to/from it with all the PCs they use.