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Google’s Design Chief Wants to Work with RIM on Android QWERTY Phones

BBM on Bold 9900

Rumors are swirling around RIM as they try to make sense of the details RIM revealed during their Q1 fiscal 2013 financials and investors call. The latest comes from ABC News which has Google’s Director of Android User Experience, Matias Duarte, lamenting the fact that Android has not been able to create a solid device with a portrait keyboard. Duarte comes from Palm where he headed up software design and when he heard about RIM’s announcement yesterday he told ABC News that:

“If RIM wanted to work on Android devices, I would really welcome that. They clearly make great physical keyboards.”

Duarte is one of the leads on Google’s Android Nexus devices and his sentiment seems to follow from his time at Palm. He told ABC News that:

“I am still a huge fan of hardware keyboards,” Duarte told ABC News in an interview. “Many of the products I have worked on in the past  have had them. I think there is a place for them — it’s all about choice and different types of devices. I would love, personally, to have a portrait oriented device, like we made at Palm.”

RIM is no stranger to licensing their keyboard design to other vendors but no one has been able to do it the way RIM does. Maybe part of RIM’s strategic direction could be partnering with vendors for hardware keyboards and RIM’s iconic smile shaped fretted keyboard. On the other hand this may weaken one of the strengths they need to bring to market with BlackBerry 10.

What do you think?

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Could someone perhaps share some further reading with me regarding RIM licensing its keyboard? I had no idea RIM did this.

    • They did it in the past with Palm/Handspring in 2002 and if I am not mistaken they did it with Samsung and Motorola after that with Windows Mobile. I don’t remember the details exactly.

  2. I think RIM would be better off working with MS on WP8 devices with QWERTY phones.

  3. Of course! Gimme gimme gimme!

  4. I was being sarcastic.

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