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RIM's QWERTY/touchscreen hybrid still on track?

updated 10:15 pm EDT, Sun September 27, 2009

BlackBerry 9900 resurfaces in rumor

Rumors of Research in Motion's BlackBerry 9900 were revived on Sunday with an apparent slip of information. Now allegedly nicknamed "Mr. T," the smartphone would still have a "full-size" slide-out keyboard that sits underneath a full touchscreen, much like HTC's Touch Pro2. Some buttons would be moved onscreen to save space.

Other details are vague. The earliest rumors of the 9900 had put the device launching this fall, but with the BlackBerry Storm 9550 as the only touchscreen device known to be shipping in the timeframe, it's now more probable that the finished product wouldn't ship until 2010.

The original Storm (9500) has been only a modest success for Verizon despite early heavy marketing and makes both its direct sequel as well as the 9900 particularly important for RIM. Although RIM and Verizon were quick to tout passing the million-unit mark, the two were quiet afterwards and gradually cut the price of the phone to where it has been selling for just $50 for at least a month ahead of a replacement. The lackluster performance has been attributed to both the iPhone drawing away a portion of customers as well as the absence of Wi-Fi and complaints about the unique click-down screen.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    0

    Holding on to physical keyboards

    seems to be very important for all manufacturers of mobile devices except Apple. I'm guessing that it must be for business users that do an awful lot of texting. I thought that haptic feedback would sort of eliminate the need for physical keyboards, but I guess there must be something about being able to type under all sorts of conditions where maybe a virtual keyboard doesn't work as well as expected.

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