Apple's new phones lead to iTypos

A new study found that while iPhone users can type as fast as users of phones with keypads, they make more mistakes.

iPhone users make mistakes more often when texting compared to users of phones with hard keys, a new study found.

User Centric tested how many mistakes mobile phone texters make, comparing the results of iPhone users with customers who have phones with full keyboards and those with numeric keyboards. User Centric, a Chicago usability consulting company, studied 20 users in each group.

The study, while based on an extremely small sample size, makes for interesting reading.

The researchers found that while iPhone users entered text as fast as their counterparts, they made significantly more texting errors. iPhone users made 5.6 errors per message, while keyboard users made 2.1 mistakes per message and numeric phone typers made 2.4 mistakes.

The iPhone has only one key. Users type text messages on a keyboard that appears as an image on the phone's screen.

Surprisingly, the study found that iPhone texters don't improve with experience. The researchers also asked users in the other groups to send text messages using the iPhone. These novice iPhone users made mistakes at the same rate as people who have owned iPhones for at least one month, the study found.

The iPhone only recently hit shelves in Europe, where mobile phone users have been texting longer and more often than their counterparts in the U.S. The mass market in Europe has been using numeric keypads to text for years and has been largely resistant to change, with many phone users shunning predictive text programs or other texting innovations.

But Apple isn't the first to introduce a new kind of mobile text-entry system. Digit Wireless has been pushing its Fastap technology since 2001. Fastap is a combination of hardware and software technology that lets phone makers place more keys on a tiny keypad by using raised and lowered keys. The phone maker can choose what letters and numbers go on the keys and how many keys will appear on a phone.

Despite its novelty, Fastap is receiving a positive reaction in Europe, said Mark Connon, CEO of Digit Wireless, speaking during the recent CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment conference. "The iPhone is driving the user interface discussion," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?