Keypads disappearing from mobile phones?

What purpose does the keypad actually serve on a mobile phone? Most people these days are not typing numbers on it. Numbers are usually stored in the address book. People type sms messages on it, but is that efficient? T9 predictive text input is ok but it really isn’t as efficient as a proper keyboard.

I wonder if it’s faster or slower than graffiti like pen based input systems? Would a screen based keyboard be better? Maybe some kind of thumb-board?

Mobile users have been carefully trained to type at speed on a very poor keyboard. Could they become used to a different and more efficient arrangement or are we permanently stuck with the legacy of the 12 key number pad?

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