The iPhone dialer has letters below the numbers. Why did Apple include them on this screen? In other phones it is used for T9 keyboard or contact search.


1 Answer 1


Some phone numbers are tailored to use a mnemonic "lettered" version to be more easily remembered. Think of an insurance company running a commercial on TV and its goal is that you call their number.
If they use 1-800-INSUR-ME, it'll probably be more easily remembered than 1-800-4678763.

  • 3
    So, what's your mnemonic for this?
    – Iszi
    Aug 22, 2012 at 19:06
  • 3
    There's a name for this keyboard layout, too, which is E.161. The layout originated in American telephones for telephone exchange names during the 1930s.
    – William C
    Aug 22, 2012 at 19:32
  • @Iszi The mnemonic is the song, duh. Oh one one eight, nine nine nine. Eight eight one nine nine. Nine oneonenine, seven two five...... three. Aug 5, 2015 at 22:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.