updated 09:05 am EDT, Fri June 19, 2009
BBerry Onyx Optical Pad
The BlackBerry Onyx will be the second RIM phone to drop the trackball for an optical trackpad if a leak supports the claim. Sources for CrackBerry claim that the Onyx will have the same pad as the Curve 8520 (pictured) and that the QWERTY keyboard is being redesigned slightly to accommodate the new controls. Prototypes until now have only been seen with the trackball, which may be phased out altogether by RIM in the future.
The trackpad is believed to be replacing the trackball for both reliability and precision: the touch-sensitive control allows for movement in more exact directions and isn't likely to accumulate dirt or break through physical movement.