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BlackBerry awarded design patent for portrait QWERTY slider, could be a BB10 Torch

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Could BlackBerry be prepping a return to slider form for future BB10 hardware? From the looks of this recently awarded design patent, we'd be willing to wager the Waterloo-based outfit's seriously considering it. The USPTO doc, initially filed back in December 2011, is as plain as they come, outlining a multi-perspective design for a handheld electronic device that looks to be a combo of the Z10's all-touch candybar aesthetic with a physical QWERTY keyboard hiding underneath à la the Torch series. With BB diehards about to get a first taste of the Q10's more traditional design, it's reasonable to assume that a portrait QWERTY slider's next up on the 2013 horizon. And with the company's annual showcase, now renamed BB Live, set for mid-May, it's likely we'll be hearing about the next phase of BB10's portfolio and potentially this prospective gem in particular.

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