Is it just me, or, should Research in Motion already have come out with a device that looks like this a long time ago? I know that this patent was only published in May of last year, but, one has to ask how a company with the resources of RIM didn’t see that the slide-out keyboard form factor is any area where they could lead the field in smartphones for several years?
I am about to use the term “never”, but, in the technology sense, which only really means the ‘foreseeable future’. Virtual keyboards will never be as good as as physical keyboards. When it comes right down to it, not much of anything with virtual appended to it is as good as the real thing and this is especially true when it comes to keyboards.
Hopefully, RIM has been working on a BlackBerry with a slide-out keyboard for some time, has done a really good job at keeping it under wraps, and will unveil it on the world sometime sometime after the BlackBerry Storm 2 comes out. I hope that they don’t wait for Apple to come out with an iPhone slider first and react to it, kind of like they did with the Storm.