BlackBerry Pearl 9100 to ditch SureType?

qwerty-bb-9100-keypad

Hold on to your hats, BlackBerry fans, because this one’s a bit crazy. Truesupplier, a well respected online retailer of OEM and third party phone parts and accessories has published images of what it claims is a full-QWERTY keyboard for the upcoming Pearl 9100. Featuring what is best described as a shrunken down version of the Bold 9700′s keypad complete with guitar-like frets separating each row of keys, we have virtually no doubts that this keypad is indeed genuine. Having said that, we believe it’s for another device. Why? Take a look at the send, end, menu and back keys. See how they’re stacked on top of one another and extend well beyond the top of where the trackpad will sit? ? There’s no way that would ever fit into the Pearl as we know it unless everyone on the 9100 team at RIM collectively lost their minds and decided to shrink the screen. We’re just throwing this out there as nothing but a guess, but perhaps this belongs to a next-gen Pearl Flip? Regardless, we’re really intrigued by the idea of using a full-QWERTY keypad in such a tight space. But level with us, readers. Is this a viable solution, or should RIM just keep going with the SureType keypad no matter what its detractors say?

UPDATE: Kevin at CrackBerry has heard that the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 will be offered in two versions: a SureType and QWERTY device.

[Via CIO]

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