Why are Numbers on Keyboards Reversed on Phones and Calculators??

March 30, 2009










Have you ever wondered why the keypads on phones and calculators are reversed? I have researched and found many theories but not one concrete reason. If you know, please comment below!

One thought is that on the original rotary phones the 0 was at the bottom and the 1 at the top and they tried to arrange the numbers so that that was still the case? Meh…

Also that there was a study by Bell Labs where they tested setups including 2 rows of 5 numbers….no way!!!  I found that on HowStuffWorks.com!

Another theory I read about on keyboardtrivia.com led me back to the previous theory.  Well, this could be it, I’m thinking. Here is the study!!! 


Last theory, if the above study wasn’t convincing enough. If it’s possible that the phone designers didn’t want folks to be so speedy on the phone buttons as they were on calculators and so they switched the 7-8-9 from the top to the bottom to flummux us, then I’d say that was a blunder- but maybe the technology of the “touch-tones” truly wasn’t advanced enough for our fast fingers. I’m sure no one imagined that we’d type like the wind on our computers either when we were back typing on typewriters.


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