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BlackBerry files patent application for 180-degree hinge, redefines 'flip-phone'

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Before you get too excited, lets remember two things: one, companies file patent applications for things all the time that never see the light of day. Two, the application is for the hinge specifically, so don't get your hopes up for a BlackBerry 10 laptop. That being said, this glimpse at a potential future form factor has us intrigued. Even when the company formerly known as RIM has experimented with design in the past, it's been conservative. The Pearl squished the keyboard and split the keys, the Storm went with a touchscreen that was also a giant button and the Torch opted for a sliding mechanism that was old hat for most other manufacturers. This is a little different, however. It's a hinge, not terribly dissimilar to that on HTC's ancient Tilt2, that lets you adjust the position of a screen in relation to a base. This version offers a lot more freedom than the HTC creation however, seemingly allowing the screen to flip 180-degrees on the arm. This design could be used for a future phone, and would be a great fit for a larger device -- say five-inches or more. Alternately, it could wind up as part of a keyboard dock for a future tablet, which would be closer to the filings illustrations. Then again, it could just end up collecting dust in a corner at Waterloo. If you'd like to check out the patents for yourself hit up the source links.

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