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Touchscreen Bold & Fold-out BlackBerry Keyboards?

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The Christmas turkey hasn't even gone off and yet here come more RIM leaks...

The first is a roadmap posted to the TmoNews forums showing the potential release of an updated Bold and the second, a potentially radical alteration to future BlackBerry SureType keypads. Let's tackle the phone initially...

Described as a 'Touchscreen Bold 9900' and codenamed 'Pluto' RIM simply states that it will be a "Bold form factor with QWERTY and touchscreen. Possible announcements at 2009 WES." Not a CES typo, WES stands for the Wireless Enterprise Symposium and is an annual RIM event this year held between 5 - 7 May - a date which ties in which the 2H 2009 release timeframe.

A good idea? Well, it's a logical extension - especially for web browsing - but not something I've heard any Bold owners lament in their existing devices. We'll see...

Next RIM has filed a rather interesting idea at the US Patent Office: an ingenious keypad which can fold out so owners are able to choose whether to use the keypad and its SureType functionality or expand to a full Qwerty keyboard. My cynicism suggests durability would be the main concern here but I'd hope it was the first port of call for RIM designers.

Bring on the inevitable additional leaks and we'll dissect all this further... probably in just a few days!

Links:
Pluto via TmoNews forums
via Mobile Industry Review

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