Big, tactile, and fast QWERTY keyboards are the Blackberry's defining characteristic: why then is RIM showing signs that it's going to mess with their tried and tested formula? In the second patent application to surface from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a series of drawings show a Blackberry design with a keyboard that features up to six different letters on large, triangular shaped keys, although the majority of the keyboard designs group three letters onto each key. As a logical extension of the BB Pearl's space saving -- but mushy -- two letter per key combo, it's natural that RIM would want to control the rights to these kind of keyboard layouts. Still, as a history of failed keyboard designs indicate, there's very little chance that this kind of layout would catch on were it to be released in a physical product. If you ask us, the real money's in tactile touchscreen keypads. That's not thinking different, it's thinking better.

[Via Unwired View]