RIM patents point to BlackBerry's future?

While filing a patent isn't necessarily a true harbinger of a company's intentions, RIM has filed some interesting design schemes for the BlackBerry in R&D. The first patent shows a BlackBerry-like device with a rotatable keyboard--making the it available in flip phone mode as well as rotated into a more horizontal position. This diagram might explain it better (click to enlarge):

A second and older patent filing is even less appealing aesthetically, but shows a keyboard that pops out on either side of the handset. Here's the diagram (click to enlarge):

For more on the RIM patents:
- see this post over at Engadget

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