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multiple5-Oct-2012productsMaarten by votes27261.1%

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Why are the numbers on a calculator and a phone reversed?

On a calculator the numbers are like this:
789
456
123
0

On a phone the numbers are like this:
123
456
789
0

Why is that?

VotesAnswer
18I don't know
3It's because...
3I have something else to say
1On my calculator and phone the numbers are the same
0I have no phone
0I have no calculator


UserComment
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
posted 5-Oct-2012 10:45am  
I have no idea. Sounds like some kind of conspiracy, though.
Galomorro
posted 5-Oct-2012 11:28am  
I have no phone.
bill Survey Central Gold Subscriber
posted 5-Oct-2012 12:47pm  
Probably the same reason that different countries drive on different sides of the road or that power is 120 volts vs 230 volts (also 50hz vs 60hz). And the width of train tracks not being the same everywhere. And, don't even get me started on NTSC vs. PAL.

Really, it's a miracle there are only 2 main keypad layouts. Why not also have one with 1,2,3 on the left side top to bottom?
cerealkiller Survey Qualifier
posted 5-Oct-2012 2:32pm  
A different person invented each? It's also faster for continuous typing the way a calculator is set up.
dab Survey Qualifier
posted 5-Oct-2012 3:56pm  
I remember reading that the phone company did extensive studies back when they were inventing TouchTone™ and chose the arrangement they did as a result of those studies. I don't know why calculators are the other way around.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber Survey Qualifier
posted 6-Oct-2012 7:57am  
this just doesn't add up!!
southernyankee
posted 6-Oct-2012 2:57pm  
The people who invented the calculator did it one way and the people who invented the digital phone did it another way, so that became the defacto standard. Just go with it man.
Iseult
posted 6-Oct-2012 6:58pm  
I don't know, but it's annoying when I'm trying to use calculator on my phone frown
Zang
posted 6-Oct-2012 7:57pm  
I read something about that once, but I don't remember the answer.
LindaH Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to Iseult) posted 7-Oct-2012 11:51am  
What kind of phone do you use? The calculator on my phone has the numbers in the right place.
msgman
posted 7-Oct-2012 1:58pm  
There are lots of different stories, but the most plausible is probably the simplest. Electronic calculators are descended from mechanical cash registers, which had low numbers at the bottom and high numbers at the top because the high numbers where literally "higher" on the device - they were above the lower numbers - and that makes the most logical sense (especially given that early cash registers often didn't stop at 9, and didn't use the now-familiar square configuration). So calculators have always been that way round, because they evolved to be.

Telephone keypads, on the other hand, are different for two main reasons. One is that, unlike calculator manufacturers (who simply followed what was, by then, already the de-facto standard), the developers of telephone keypads did some research to see which way round was easiest to use. And they found that starting with 1 was less likely to result on misdialling than the other way round. But that in turn may be because, on old-fashioned rotary dial phones, the 0 comes after the 9, so that's where telephone users expect to find it. By contrast, calculator users expect to find 0 in its numeric position, which is before 1. So turning a calculator keypad around may not make it easier to use.
Gomezy3k
posted 7-Oct-2012 1:59pm  
Don't know, don't care. Probably has something to do with ease of use or something.
Iseult
(reply to LindaH) posted 7-Oct-2012 2:33pm  
I have BB Curve. You?
LindaH Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to Iseult) posted 7-Oct-2012 2:40pm  
Samsung solstice
Dino
posted 9-Oct-2012 11:43am  
Different inventors and different motivations. Why, both seem logical to me to for their purpose. When you think about it, phones aren't numbers, its a sort of alphabetical coding. Calculators are numbers though. Low numbers at the bottom suits me fine.
Irene007
posted 17-Oct-2012 10:00am  
Good question! I've always wondered about that... Because I regularly use calculator keyboards; I often dial the wrong phone number...
Irene007
(reply to bill) posted 17-Oct-2012 10:02am  
> Really, it's a miracle there are only 2 main keypad layouts. Why
> not also have one with 1,2,3 on the left side top to bottom?

OMG! Shhhh! Don't give anyone ideas - it's confusing enough as it is.

Irene007
(reply to Iseult) posted 17-Oct-2012 10:04am  
> I don't know, but it's annoying when I'm trying to use calculator
> on my phone frown

Or dial a friend on your calculator!
Irene007
(reply to LindaH) posted 17-Oct-2012 10:05am  
> What kind of phone do you use? The calculator on my phone has the
> numbers in the right place.

iPhones do but regular cells have you use the dialing keypad.
Iseult
(reply to Irene007) posted 19-Oct-2012 12:14pm  
Sometimes I good around pretending my calculator is a cellphone.
JessicaWoman99 Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 7-Sep-2013 2:35pm  
I do not know why
mandy
posted 27-Sep-2013 6:26pm  
*shrugs*
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