RIM entered the tablet space with mild success. Many felt that the BlackBerry PlayBook was rushed to market and failed to launch with needed features, such as a native contacts, calendar, and mail apps. All versions have been price dropped many time and once can now score the tablet for a low $150 outright. Their 4G LTE version was launched in Canada last month and will be heading towards other countries soon, but there might be something new brewing.
According to a patent filing with the United States Trademark and Patent Office, RIM is thinking about a “Mobile device with a concealed keyboard.” Clearly just a concept idea and nowhere close to launching. It’s similar to what Microsoft is launching with their new Surface tablet and the description states that the tablet will house a rotating keyboard that is embedded into its design. Here’s the official description:
“An electronic device having a concealed keyboard includes a first housing, a second housing rotatably coupled to the first housing, and a concealment cover coupled to a rear of the first housing. The first housing has a coupling edge and two sides that are substantially perpendicular to the coupling edge of the first housing. The second housing has a coupling edge and two sides that are substantially perpendicular to the coupling edge of the second housing. A receiving portion is formed on a rear surface of the first housing and is configured to receive the second housing. When the second housing is in the receiving portion, each respective side of the first housing and the second housing are co-terminal with one another. The concealment cover is exteriorly positioned with respect to the second housing when the second housing is in the receiving portion.”
Really, the only thing different that I can see from the RIM’s BlackBerry Bluetooth Keyboard and Case accessory is that it’s fixed and rotates. However, if they are granted the patent application it might help them win some patent infringement cases.