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[Updated] Is BlackBerry finally working on a new hybrid device?

Update: It seems this model will be released sooner than I expected under the code names Visa and Victoria. Expected launch date? Early Q2 2015!

I was just looking for information on the US Patent Office’s website when I stumbled upon BlackBerry’s patent #8,830,667, dated September 9th, which describes a “storable keyboard having a pivoting cover“.

This pictures shows the phone in its normal configuration, perfect for browsing the Web, playing games, etc. Hopefully, that row will be touch sensitive so that we can use it as a trackpad.

Hybrid in normal state

And when you need to type, you just rotate the bottom part to have access to a 3-row keyboard, similar to what you can find on the soon to be released Passport.

Hybrid with keyboard

Here is a side view of the mechanism.

Hybrid mechanism details

I think it’s a clever way to hide a keyboard, but I’m not sure we gain a lot of screen estate by using such a mechanism, as it’s described. BlackBerry probably has a better design in the works though :).

What do you think?

Link to the patent

10 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. The passport is 70-75% screen. This would be more than that. Possibly a traditional 16×9 screen but the size of the passport?

  2. Bravo Blackberry…

  3. Sweet!

  4. “I’m not sure we gain a lot of screen estate by using such a mechanism”

    I’m not sure how the mechanism has anything to do with screen space. To me the cover mechanism appears to serve 2 purposes. One is protecting the keyboard as the keys are right at the bottom edge of the device(which I guess does affect screen space by allowing the screen to be bigger). The second is that the cover appears to create a chin beneath the keyboard when open to make the device easier to hold and type on.

    But then again I don’t use physical keyboard devices, so yeah. Cut off that keyboard entirely and just give me a 5.5″ all-touch. 😀

    • Took me a moment to realize that the bottom 2 rows of keys actually retract beneath the top row. Neat.

    • Yeah, I’m with you. BlackBerry needs to consider those who want an all-touch premium device. I’m still waiting for it! I won’t buy anything mechanical because of wear & tear issues, and it is more likely to be damaged when dropped.

      • Forgot to add that BlackBerry needs to have a water resistant phone. Too many times, I find myself using my phone in the rain – and worrying! This interesting hinge certainly makes the device more prone to water, dirt, etc.

        I like the Passport but it’s not for me. I need a Z50 or some other premium all-touch handset with the BlackBerry name on it by spring!

  5. Innovative designs as well as innovative marketing will be the key to BlackBerry’s reemergance as a power player once again.

    • Agreed, and they get full marks for unique engineering feats. The Z10 and Z30 have won so many design awards, and the Z10’s design was also copied by HTC with their HTC One. The Passport was also a uniquely designed phone that certainly stands apart from the crowd. The Q10’s keyboard was thumb heaven, at least for those who love physical keys.

  6. Fully Agree, the Z10 is a very well designed smart phone. HTC copied it. The Z30 won best smart phone of 2014. The Passport is the most innovative smart phone ever released to date. The Passport is also technologically superior to anything out. Its speakers are the best ever on a smart phone with the Z30 taking 2nd place.
    BlackBerry needs a Refresh of the Z10 and Z30. This Hybrid 16×9 device could be that refresh, I am cool with that. So long as they have the Digital Keyboard pop up when the 2 keyboard roads are hidden away. The QWERTY keys that always remain can be used for Quick Short Cut keys.

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