RIM's Foldout Keyboard Patent Sorta Misses the Point

It's likely to be one of those defensive patents, but RIM's patent application for a fold-out smartphone keyboard forgets why you might want a fold-out keyboard.

Because while Blackberries are historically known for excellent emailing on huge keyboards, their newer SureType (two letters per key) system has turned off many users to smaller models like the Pearl.

But then you see this new patent mockup and you think, ooh, foldout keyboard! Death to SureType! Full QWERTY on the Blackberry Pearl! Unicorns live!

And then you realize that RIM's mockup doesn't add more buttons, it just puts two letters on each key. SureType just gets bigger. [US Patent Office via Engadget Mobile]