When the iPhone was announced, everyone said "it will never work" because the keyboard was the most important feature for any BlackBerry user (it still is). Therefore, people said "the iPhone will never make it in the enterprise". Now, surprisingly for some, the iPhone is in the enterprise.
True, it is mostly a consumer device. But you hear few people complain about the lack of a keyboard these days. Mostly, because the iPhone is an upgrade from a phone without a keyboard... Therefore, it is better than zero.
However, in many cases people did move from a keyboard-full device to the iPhone. They bitched for a week, balancing the lack of a keyboard with the coolness of the device. Then they forgot about it. They learned. They became proficient at it.
Actually, when we did a test at the OSGR conference, iPhone users won the contest against BlackBerry users for fast typing. It was more than surprising, not only to me but to the iPhone users.
Now that I have used a G1, I was shocked that I found the iPhone virtual keyboard better... I still prefer the BlackBerry keyboard, but I can definitely live with the iPhone one.
When the BlackBerry Storm will hit the stores later this month, we'll see if the tactile feedback they added makes a big difference. I am ready to bet it does. And that it will make all mobile keyboards obsolete.
Unless you are someone that would buy the one in the video below. If you do, then please buy a netbook instead ;-)