BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSE:BB) seems to be working on a new device with storable keyboard having a pivoting cover. The news was first reported by BerryReviw.
BerryReviw thinks the new device will be released sooner than expected possibly Q2 2015 under the code names Visa and Victoria.
The patent was filed at the United States Patent Office just last week on September 9th patent #8,830,667.
The abstract from the patent file describes the design as follows: “A keyboard portion is configured to move (with respect to a housing) between a deployed position and a non-deployed position. A cover pivotally couples to the housing and is configured to at least partially cover the keyboard portion when the keyboard portion is in the non-deployed position and to reveal the keyboard portion when the keyboard portion is in the deployed position. By one approach the cover is configured to move the keyboard portion between the deployed position and the non-deployed position as the cover pivots with respect to the housing.” [Source]
The keyboard which has three rows looks like it could be like that of the Passport which means it could also be used as a trackpad. When the keyboard is flipped away, there seems to be one row left possible to use as trackpad as well as main keys needed.
It’s not clear yet what benefit this design will give as it does not look like we gain screen size the main row is always there, but it could be some clever design by BlackBerry we’ll know the details later. For now, we just have to think of this as yet another device as promised by BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen during the Q4 2014 conference call, he said they have a very sensible plan which include new product launches.
This could also mean that BlackBerry Ltd just wanted to reserve the design under their patent list just in case it’s needed in the future.