BlackBerry phones will continue to feature their trademark trackpads for the foreseeable future, a Research in Motion (RIM) exec has revealed.
In contrast to rivals, RIM was slow to adopt to consumer demand for touchscreen only handsets – opting instead to stick with the physical keypad and trackpad user interfaces that have come to characterise its business focussed smarties. That meant that the company’s debut touchscreen BlackBerry, the Storm, only arrived in late 2008.
However, since then we’ve had the best-selling, touchscreen UI-sporting BlackBerry Torch. Meanwhile, the similarly touchscreen-only Bold Touch 9900 is set to drop imminently.
So does that mean the formerly immovable trackpad is on the way out? Not a bit of it.
In an interview with Tech Radar Carlo Chiarello, RIM's VP of GSM/UMTS Business Unit disclosed that trackpads remain popular with the company’s core customers and are very much here to stay.
He said: "People like having their finger on that screen and manipulating it. But this takes nothing away from using the trackpad.
"We tested a bunch of designs that got rid of the trackpad… and it wasn't the same.
"If you're coming from a keyboard environment on a BlackBerry, it's almost a little bit of a safety net for you.”
Vodafone, 3 and O2 have this week confirmed be offering the Touch 9900 when it lands in the UK later this year.