QWERTY slider coming to RIM?

Research in Motion could be at work on a BlackBerry with a slide-out keyboard, based on a patent showing such a device. The device also sports a trackball navigation system and a touchscreen. This is the not the first patent RIM has filed that features a touchscreen, suggesting that RIM is seriously looking at such a technology for a future BlackBerry.

Like many other sliders, the screen orientation of this device would switch from portrait to landscape mode when the keyboard was opened. The screen supports both finger and stylus interaction.

There is nothing particularly new here so why is a patent necessary?

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