User Centric, a Chicago based consultancy firm, conducted a study to find determine how easy it was for conventional mobile phone users to text using the iPhone.
The tests were conducted by two groups of ten users, those who use QWERTY phones, and those who use multitap phones on a daily bases.
It took QWERTY users almost twice as long to create the same message on the iPhone as it did on their QWERTY phone. While there was improvement over time, the difference persisted even after using the iPhone for 30 minutes. "When they switched to the iPhone, they were frustrated with the touch sensitive keyboard," claims User Centric.
Multitap users were a bit better off, they needed about the same amount of time as with their own phones. However, since text input on their phones is slow anyway, we can't say this is a great score.
The report claims all participants frequently selected keys that they had not intended. Participants usually corrected these errors by using the backspace key to erase one character at a time.
Only 7 participants figured out how to use the corrective text feature on their own. This one kind of makes us doubt the scores and raises some questions, i.e. where did they find these people. Also, the report claims the group didn't get used to the iPhone "in 30 minutes", and this raises eyebrows too. Half an hour is nothing in terms of getting used to a new device, it takes much more to get used to a simple gadget, let alone a touchscreen smartphone.