updated 11:20 am EDT, Thu March 22, 2007
Nokia N99 Patent
Nokia has patented a new smartphone design that would give an even greater amount of control, according to a newly discovered filing. The device would not only have a slide-out keyboard but also a pivoting number pad: while it would slide out for normal calling, it would also rotate into place next to the keyboard for spreadsheets or steering using the directional pad. The design would also have a space near the display for a separate control scheme.
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While unnamed, the device bears a strong similarity to a previously discounted N99 concept phone whose image had surfaced online months before, suggesting that its claims of 16GB internal flash memory and a 3CCD, 8-megapixel camera are now more legitimate. Such a phone, however, is unlikely to appear until late 2007 at the earliest. [via Unwired View]