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Do BlackBerry typers dream of trapezoid keys?

A BlackBerry handset. RIM is charting a new course to refocus on its core strengths in business and enterprise, its CEO says.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

It appears Research in Motion believes the key to easy, accurate mobile typing lies in trapezoids and parallelograms.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker has been granted a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for an "angular keyboard for a handheld mobile communication device."

Submitted in January 2009, RIM's patent application outlined a newly designed smartphone keyboard with angled lines separating each key.

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RIM said the unique keyboard makes it easier for users to type and increases accuracy.

The beleaguered company has been denying rumours that it's phasing keyboards out of its smartphone designs, in favour of flat front surfaces, like Apple's iPhone.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins told media at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando last week that RIM's new line of smartphones, to be installed with the forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, will include models with and without keyboards.

"We won't lose the focus on physical keypads. It would be wrong — just plain wrong to do this," Mr. Heins said.

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