No i never installed that. So it's not that. I've no idea what it could be. Previously i used it (the dialpad) once to delete a message from voicemail - but i had issues registering presses, thought i just had a greasy finger or something.
Now though the grey tab doesnt register, and if i bring it up via softkey options, the screen doesnt register anything - have to "exit" the phone with the home button.
It's annoying, but not a showstopper. I'm going to wait until i next update my phone and see if it's fixed. If not then i'll start to look into contact samsung or something.
I'll keep hunting the internet though!