The upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9800 slider smartphone from Research in Motion (RIM) is moving further from the traditions of the range by incorporating a virtual keypad.
The slide mechanism on the new phone enables it to support both a full physical QWERTY keypad which most BlackBerry fans will have seen before, but the image suggests that a landscape on-screen keypad that takes advantage of the touch sensitive display will give users an alternative input method for messaging and emails.
BlackBerry's forthcoming slider is being approached as somewhat of an oddity, as RIM has not had a huge amount of success with touchscreen smartphones in the past and the hybrid interface on offer here may divide the traditional target audience.
Images of the handset were published by The Berry Fix and although it got its hands on quite a few pictures of the BlackBerry slider in the wild, it could not confirm whether it would feature the SurePress touchscreen technology which has been present on previous BlackBerry models.
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