The patent, which was initially filed by BlackBerry, then Research In Motion, in December 2011 and approved today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, outlines a device similar to the company’s Torch series, with a QWERTY keyboard hidden beneath a sliding touchscreen display. It’s reasonable to believe this design could be a feature of the next BlackBerry 10 device.
The company released the first in the line of BlackBerry 10 devices, the BlackBerry Z10, which is solely touchscreen, in early March. The second device in the BlackBerry 10 line, the Q10 handset, features the traditional QWERTY keyboard and is expected to reach U.S. customers in May or June.
BlackBerry Live, the company’s annual showcase is set for mid-May and new details about the next phase of BlackBerry 10 will likely be outlined and may even include more information on this particular design.