It has been said to have been in the works for years, but now RIM is apparently getting more serious about it. We’ve received word from multiple sources that RIM is definitely working on a few different horizontal keyboard designs for future BlackBerry devices. Testers were given just the keyboard to see how comfortable and efficient it was to type on. The keyboards were said to be much different than traditional horizontal keyboards we’ve seen before and that they do not necessarily resemble an ‘extended version’ of current BlackBerry portrait keyboards.

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It will be very interesting to see if RIM truly does launch a device with a horizontal keyboard. It was rumored for the longest time that the Mr. T, now known as the Torch 9800, was in landscape and portrait version while as a prototype. But for whichever reason, RIM (and supposedly AT&T) decided a portrait slider was better.

Our guess, or hope rather, is that RIM will not push a horizontal keyboard to production for the the simple fact that slider phones are so 2008. Then again, the Torch 9800 was a bit of a surprise in terms of a new product line for RIM. If RIM did release a device with a landscape slider, it would position RIM with having every style of mobile device we’ve seen in the past. Would you be interested in a BlackBerry with a landscape slide-out keyboard?

NOTE: Image above is for illustrative purposes only.