How To Dial Letters On An iPhone

iPhones are used for so many things we forget about the basics like calling and dialing. Many phone numbers use letters, and you can dial with letters too. Many people get confused when they see or hear a phone number ending in letters. If this is a new concept for you, don’t worry. It’s easy to understand, and dialing letters on the numeric dial pad on your iPhone is not a complex feature to learn. 

How To Dial Letters On An iPhone 1 How To Dial Letters On An iPhone

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Can you dial letters on an iPhone?

To dial letters on an iPhone, do the same steps you would for a regular phone number. But instead, you are dialing the number based on the corresponding letters instead of just a number. The database can read the phone word or vanity number to connect you to the right place.  

One of the most common questions that people ask when they get a new phone is how to dial letters on a phone call. But it’s much easier than you think. Simply match the desired letter with the number on the keypad and dial. This guide will explain in detail how the letter keypad works. 

If you’re looking for how to dial letters on an iPhone, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading below to get expert information about the iPhone letter keypad. 

How To Dial Letters On iPhone

If you have ever responded to an ad or tried to contact a larger company, the phone number has likely been in numbers and letters at least a few times before. This confuses some people who have iPhones. 

Even Apple does this with their customer support line. Luckily, iPhones have been designed to make many tasks easier, including dialing letters of the phone number with your phone to make calls. 

When you open the Keypad on your Phone app, you will see corresponding lettings with each number. There are three or four letters under each number, and the phone can register letters by the way you dial. 

This is important because there is no individual letter keyboard for dialing in the iPhone app. 

How Do You Switch From Numbers To Letters On iPhone Keypad?

The convenient thing about an iPhone is the easy-to-use touchscreen keyboards and keypads. When you open the Phone app to dial an outgoing call, both the numbers and letters are in the same place. 

This means you don’t need to do anything to switch between keyboards like other phones might ask you to do. Dialing with letters is fast and easy and should be approached as a regular phone number would. 

You can switch from letters to numbers on the iPhone keyboard by following these steps:

  1. Open the app to begin typing
  2. Place the cursor for the keyboard to appear
  3. Tap the 123 button in the bottom left corner
  4. Begin typing

While these steps aren’t needed for dialing, knowing how to use the iPhone keyboard when typing messages is helpful. 

Why Does iPhone Have Letters On Dial Keypad?

How To Dial Letters On An iPhone 1 1 How To Dial Letters On An iPhone

The letters on the iPhone keypad are not there because they are a part of the design. They exist because they are required for dialing numbers or when on phone calls.

This is why you have seen a brand advertising a unique phone number with letters. Another reason is for when you are on the phone with a business and they send you to a dial-by-name directory. 

Dialing Unique Numbers

Any business with a generic phone number with a word or phrase uses this as a marketing tactic. It’s become less popular as the world goes more digital, but it is still used quite often. 

Dial By Name Directories

When you call a business and get sent to a generic answering service, it’s become common to type in the name of the person you want to be connected with. This happens often, and without letters, this service would be useless. 

Phone Tasks

Before touch screen iPhones, text messages, and other typing tasks would have been impossible without letters. You could use the buttons on the phone to do online searches, send emails, or even send texts. 

Dialing Letters On iPhone Keypad Explained

In the 1950s and 1960s, letters were primarily used instead of phone numbers, but they presented a problem for operators. 

This led to a change in 1968 to all numbers, eliminating letters from modern-day phone numbers. 

The reason letters were removed, and the shift to only numbers happened was because this era lacked modern technology. Many calls were had with operators, and confusion was quite common because of letter pronunciation. 

It became easier only to use numbers to avoid calls being sent to the wrong phones. 

The letters on the keypad of an iPhone are used for dialing or when on a phone call. Here is a chart explaining which letters correspond with each number. 

Phone Numbers To Letters Chart

The following chart shows letters and their corresponding number key on an iPhone.

4G,H, I
5J, K, L
6M, N, O
7P, Q, R, S
8T, U, V
9W, X, Y, Z

How To Dial Letters On A Phone Call On An iPhone?

One of the most common reasons to dial letters on an iPhone is while you are on a phone call. The perfect example is when you call a larger business, and they read menu options to you. 

Fortunately, these automated messages tend to give you choices instead of asking you just to dial randomly. But other reasons like entering personal information with your keyboard can happen too. 

You would use the chart above to do so. This would work the same way as you did with a phone number, and click corresponding numbers with your desired letter. 

How Does the iPhone Keypad Know Which Letter You Want To Dial?

It may seem difficult to understand because when you want to dial the letter A, you choose the number 2. But there are also two other letters associated with this number. 

This depends on what you are doing with the keypad. For example, if you dial a phone number or a dial-by-name directory, the system can automatically detect the correct letter based on the rest of the phone number. 

This differs from older phones when using the keypad to type messages. But phonewords and vanity numbers work the same as a regular phone number and are based on the first six digits. It knows where to route the call. 

This database lookup is highly intuitive. If there were any problems, some systems would ask for a prompt by asking you to dial a number to confirm the letter. 

Is It The Same To Dial Letters And Numbers On iPhone?

Dialing letters and numbers on an iPhone work the same as on any other phone. The numbers correspond the same, and all default the iPhone’s settings work the exact same way as an old phone or landline would. 

The result is also the same. The same thing is sent to the database when you dial the number 4 or the letter G. This leads to the call getting connected based on the final number. 

While some of the generic vanity phone numbers might be the same, the letters are how they get differentiated to accept phone calls.  If you are ever confused, try to Google the phone number; it will get converted into numbers only. 

Why Do Some Phone Numbers Have Letters In Them?

Oftentimes, if you are watching TV or listening to the radio, you might see a commercial that tells you to call a phone number with multiple letters or phonewords in it. In fact, the use of letters and phonewords in phone numbers is actually quite common, but why is this?

In short, businesses love using phone words in their phone numbers because they are much more memorable than normal phone numbers are, and because of this, consumers are much more likely to call. After all, 1-800-266-8228 is much more difficult to remember than 1-800-CONTACTS, especially if only given limited exposure to the number at the end of a commercial.

The important thing to remember is that you aren’t really dialing a letter at all. It is still just a number that corresponds with the letters on the button.

These types of phone numbers really took off in the 1980s and 1990s, after necessary technological achievements allowed toll-free numbers to be assigned to different locations instead of the number itself indicating a certain location. 

Before this, phone numbers with phone words in them were much more constrained because the first few numbers had to correspond with the geographic location of the phone number. 

Nowadays anyone can set up a toll-free number vanity number using all seven available digits to spell whatever word they like, making their brand more memorable and increasing the likelihood that potential customers call. 

Because many phone numbers that contain phonewords in them are toll-free vanity 800 numbers, they come with many other benefits to businesses. These numbers allow businesses to track incoming calls, build leads and analyze plenty of other data that can potentially be helpful to the business.

Still, there are a few disadvantages to using phonewords in a business phone number. While phones with digital keyboards and keypads are quite good at translating words to numbers, smartphones with physical keyboards make it much more difficult for people to dial phone numbers with phonewords in them.

Another common mistake that many people make is dialing 1 in the place of the letter I or 0 in the place of the letter O. This can lead to people misdialing phone numbers and being unable to contact the business that they want to.

However, in the end, these numbers with letters and phonewords in them have lots of advantages for businesses, so while it is unlikely that someone would have a personal phone number that contains letters, you’ve most likely seen countless commercials for businesses with them.

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