LAVA Mobile recently launched its B5 mobile phone that is claimed to be the first phone in the world offering an ABCDE (which they call an “Alpha Keypad”) in place of the conventional QWERTY keypad that we find on our smartphones.

QWERTY keypads were integrated into the mobile phones in keeping with the traditional keyboards we find on our computers and aimed at bringing the same computing feel and usability to our mobile devices that we are so used to on our PCs. Interestingly, no one ever gave thought to changing the same to a more logical ABCD notation that undoubtedly would be much easier and faster to use for “non computer literate” people – which in fact is precisely what the Lava B5 is targeted at!

With mobiles getting cheaper by the day, they have certainly penetrated into the far fetched population of a country like ours where people have no access to computers or such, but they certainly can afford and use mobile phones. The argument does sound sensible but if that is what Lava is aiming at, I am not totally convinced for a simple reason – a person who has no know-how of technology so as to be able to use a PC, how can we expect the person to find plausible use of a ABCD keyboard to type out mails, SMSs or social networking etc?? That defeats the argument for me.

But yes, there is a second category of people from amongst ourselves to which this product can certainly be a boon. There are many of us who have been using PCs for as long as we remember! And we are thus so used to QWERTY that we may type with closed eyes!! But there are others who have not been spending hours sitting in front of PCs doing work! And for them, the Alpha Keypad is a sure shot winner. It just makes life so simple if you look at it. The very idea of having keys arranged alphabetically sounds perfectly logical.

Only time would tell how fruitful this innovation would turn out to be. If I were to imagine myself on an Alpha Keyboard, its actually hard to imagine! Would it make this faster or would it make it more confusing for someone already used to and well acquainted with QWERTY. But Kudos to Lava for thinking in this direction and at least making the option available to people. This product gets a sure Thumbs Up from us!

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