One of our connects had told us some time ago that when the (now BlackBerry 9800) was being developed there were two versions of the keyboard; portrait and landscape.We obviously know that the portrait version won for final production. However, we were told that RIM is still working on a BlackBerry with a landscape keyboard.

There hasn’t been any credible evidence to support this claim until now. Our connect directed us to this patent, which shows what could be a touchscreen device with a slide out keyboard. What is even more interesting about the patent is that the device is compared to that of the Samsung Alias 2.

As you can see from the images, you can slide the main screen up or left/right to show select keys. It is a very interesting design and the patent notes that a device with compact and expanded configurations could be very useful in a multimedia device.

It will be interesting to see what or even if anything does come to fruition. The final product doesn’t always look inline with its original patent design. Nevertheless, do you think there is a BlackBerry with a landscape keyboard in the near future? Would you prefer a landscape keyboard over the traditional portrait?