Remember Nokia's E52
? Espoo took an interesting tactic with these two: start with the same basic phone and operating system, but offer it with two different keypad layouts (in fact, HTC did the same with its Touch Dual
). It's not a bad idea -- different strokes for different folks, right? Indeed, not everyone can really get into RIM's SureType
layout, but the Pearls
that usually underpin it have a distinct opportunity to appeal to a wider audience. To that end, an OEM full QWERTY module for the unannounced Pearl 9100
has made an appearance on Chinese accessory reseller TrueSupplier's site that suggests RIM's learned this lesson and might be prepping to offer the newest model in two different versions. What'd be tragic here is if only one flavor was offered on each carrier that picked it up -- and given RIM's history, that wouldn't surprise us -- but for now, we sticking with the "choice is a good thing" line.