Way back in February Research in Motion published patent of a BlackBerry with a slide-out keyboard. The response to such a device was mixed to say the least. Personally, I’ve wanted BlackBerry Slider for a couple of years now but there are a lot people who think that the slider design is too fragile, flimsy, and will make the device too big.

All that I know is that RIM really needs to come out with a BlackBerry with a slide-out keyboard. There are many reasons why I feel this way, but, one is reason enough for them to do this all by itself.

Apple, inevitably, will come out with an iPhone with a slider.

Even though RIM is not too far off from releasing the BlackBerry Storm, their first BlackBerry with a touchscreen, many BlackBerry diehards won’t move to it for the same reason that they wouldn’t move to the iPhone. No physical keyboard.

RIM must play in Apples sandbox when it comes to the touchscreen and I simply don’t expect their first stab at it, which I believe was in response to an iPhone which had been in development for years, will compare. RIM, however, has the same advantage over Apple when it comes to keyboards. They flat out own this space and need to take all those years of engineering and put it into a device that I think can be game changing for the BlackBerry.