RIM Patents Slider BlackBerry!

By Kevin Michaluk on 29 Feb 2008 11:45 am EST

Slider BlackBerry

RIM's Research & Development team is obviously hard at work - there has been a ton of patent applications hitting publication of late, many for various designs and layouts of BlackBerry device models. We've seen angled keyboards, touchscreen devices and now you're looking at image from the patent app for a Slider BlackBerry.


A device is disclosed for use in two different orientations. In one orientation, the keyboard is exposed to the user. This orientation is named the landscape orientation because the device will be positioned such that its width is larger than its height. The user would opt for the landscape orientation for tasks that require the keyboard, such as inputting data, drafting emails, sending emails, and other functions typically associated with a standard computer. The other orientation is named the portrait orientation because the device will be positioned such that its height is larger than its width. In addition, the keyboard is not used in this orientation and therefore hidden away. The user would opt for the portrait orientation for tasks such as making and receiving telephone calls and for reading documents and emails. The device detects the orientation positioned by the user and modifies the elements shown on the display screen so that they are presented in the correct orientation to the user. 

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I know a lot of people love the "slider" devices, but if you remember my experiences with the AT&T Tilt from the Smartphone Round Robin you'll recall I wasn't one of them. As silly as it sounds, there were just too many ways to hold/use the darn thing, and it wasn't a one-handed device (which is what I love about my BlackBerry and dislike about pretty much every other smartphone).

I think the reason why the BlackBerry and now the iPhone are so successful is that there's really only one way to hold/use the device. Throw in too many options and the new user experience gets thrown out the door. Though I could easily be proven wrong in this case - I trust RIM's engineers, and I do see a trackball on this baby, so maybe it would rock! At least unlike the Tilt, I'm pretty sure a BlackBerry slider would NOT include a stylus. One thing is for certain though... it looks like RIM is really going try and leverage their brand to design a wide range of devices that appeal to everyone!

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

RIM Patents Slider BlackBerry!


Contrary to the pseudo-review of the patent application, I for one look forward to seeing this design. (obviously we're all keeping open minds) Having used the TMO Wing (not a plug, just a fact) which has a 4-way cursor on the main non-slider part, I think the trackball could make a very functional, large-screen one-handed interface.

I'm intrigued by the idea, and actually like slider keyboards. If it's made by RIM, I trust it will be easy and fast to type on. I hope they put in a whazoo! (read: fast) processor, a great display, and a 3G chipset. :)

Let's hear other opinions!


yeah, i'm open to new ideas too! remember - my opinion of the AT&T Tilt/sliders is just one person's opinion. I think there's a lot of people out there who love the sliders, and I can also see why they would.

I think what RIM builds, the build well, so if we saw this design from them it the execution would be top notch and rock! they wouldn't put something on the market that is contrary to all the berry goodness they have already built and established

Instead of it being a slider I think they should take direction of the enV from Verizon where the top can open and u have a screen and a kebyoard instead of a slider. My fear with sliders since ive seen it happen, is that with too much usage the sliders wear out and dont lock properly and can come off similar to the way that the sidekicks after awhile wear out and i have actually seen the screen comes off the device because of it.

Ugh. I had a WM PPC6700 that used the same layout. I thought the keyboard would be a great feature, but almost never used it. Now I have a Curve, which is superior in every way, and untouchable for one-handed use. Compared to the "classic" BlackBerry design, this is:

1. Thicker
2. Heavier
3. Two-handed
4. Has a recessed keyboard

Others may enjoy this design, but speaking as one who has used it -- no thanks.

Wow! I cant wait to see what the BB slider will look like when it comes out, its great that they are making the more devices for all types of users. Now lets hope they put multiple color LEDs under the trackball so you can play with the colors like the Pearl 8100 :) and for us Sprint users lets hope they pick up on the new BB devices. I have used 3 different phones with keyboards and I like the slider keyboards as long as they can still make a sleek not overly sized version. Still, I have to say I love my peal 8130 so I would have to be quite impressed to switch over to something larger, but I also like to keep an open mind. Yes indeed, suretype is quickly becoming my friend.

Yes I agree, the attraction with the BB format for me is that the keyboard and device can be picked up and used with one hand if needed, no messing with sliders and turning it round etc.
I had an 8700g and loved it, then for some reason I moved to a TyTn II / Kaiser / Tilt and just could not get to grips with it I'm afraid.
I've recently come back to BB with a Curve 8320. Which I must say is very nice but the keyboard is not a patch on the 8700 in my opinion.
You can read a mini comparison of the 3 devices at http://www.g6phf.co.uk if you so wish.
And RIM, if you are reading this, please don't change your winning design too radically :)

It seems to me that everthing is turning into either the Sidekick or the **NEW** Sidekick Slide! I think that is a bit much for the BlackBerry, the BlackBerry should stay the way that is.
I am definatley open for the option of more AMAZING colors!!!

No thanks. I think this is a major step backwards. I just came from a PPC 6800. Its just to big, To heavy. I thought the Curve was invented to be a convience. Small powerful and practical. No thanks on the sliding version.

in contemplating my first blackberry purchase, i dont think this will be the one. slider phone and touch screens might eventually go the way of the dodo bird in a few years. i think RIM should not mess with a good thing. i certainly will be getting the curve. RIM, stick to the current form factor!

why does everyone keep saying RIM shouldnt mess with a good thing and keep the current form factor??? in mah opinion thats a stupid reason. if you dont like the new desings then dont buy them simple. if RIM keeps the same old form factor then its just gone be.....whats so special about them? they are ugly.....but now with Pearl i get a wow you have a cool phone*. if RIM has that then they will probly attract alot more consumers to your phone. the os will only get you so far. comming directly from me i dont want a UGLY phone. i love when someone complements mah phone! so what im saying is doing what they should and off more form factors that look good as welll as operate good then they will attract more consumers. it think that makes since but then again it dont matter what i say im 17

I don't personnally like the slider but as one who has each of the different kinds, I feel that it will appeal to some and not to others. I personally would not like a slider, mainly due to the size, if they made a slim line one then it may would go over. Also, I have heard rumor of windows based blackberry coming soon.

BB is totally stuck in the past (the 90's.) These phones are for old white guys. They are fantastic devices that are well made, efficient software, in-efficient hardware and ugly with limited appeal to youth. It is not just the brand, it is also BB's present users.... all need to open up to some new designs.

I so wish I could have a well designed, reliable, slim, narrow (<5cm) BB landscape slider. Me(of 42 years) and many millions of teenagers know that this type of device is fast and efficient to use. It fits in the narrowest of pockets. It saves screen space (compared to on-screen keyboards) for what is important, the email, the image and the video. Unbelievably, Blackberry does not make one!

Please BB, hurry up and get on board with something that has been faster than any existing BB for calls and text for nearly ten years. Just learn from your teen-aged daughter on an unlimited text plan so we can usher in a new era of real business tools!