Remember when Steve Jobs said that Apple wouldn’t make an iPhone with a slide-out keyboard?
Well that was until he realized that he simply wouldn’t gain ground in the business world on the BlackBerry unless he reversed his stance.

According to The Register, mobile operators are reporting that a corporate iPhone with a slide-out keyboard may already be in the works. Jobs is asking what if type questions. “If you had a keyboard version, how many would you take?”

From the BlackBerry side of things…

We already know that the BlackBerry Thunder is coming and it will be first BlackBerry with a touchscreen, however, like the iPhone, will not have physical keyboard. I expect many BlackBerry users will shy away from anything without an actual keyboard and this includes the BlackBerry Thunder.

Although I am glad that the BlackBerry Thunder is coming out on Verizon first, I’ve often wondered why RIM would allow the BlackBerry Thunder to be a lifetime exclusive on Verizon. I can only hope that this is because another touchscreen BlackBerry with a slide-out keyboard is in the works for the other carriers.

Just like it was inevitable that the a BlackBerry with a touchscreen would come out eventually, an iPhone with a keyboard just makes sense if Apple is ever to gain ground on RIM in the corporate world. If I were RIM, however, I would come out with a BlackBerry slider before Apple comes out with an iPhone with a slide-out keyboard. RIM should have all the advantages of creating a good slide-out keyboard that Apple had with creating a good touchscreen interface.

A BlackBerry with a slide-out keyboard is an area where RIM should lead the market as compared to reacting to it. That’s my opinion. What do you think?