Smartphones are taking on all sorts of shapes and sizes these days. We’ve got the regular BlackBerry-style bar phones, sliding QWERTY phones like the HTC Touch Pro, all touchscreen phones like the Samsung Omnia, and dual sliders like the Nokia N96. It seems that we’re getting yet another form factor to consider from our Finnish friends at Nokia.
One of the latest patents filed by Nokia reveals an innovative new smartphone where the display will actually swivel and rotate to offer users a huge landscape-oriented touchscreen. While devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm will work in both portrait and landscape mode, they don’t have a physical keyboard.
By contrast, this unique Nokia design looks similar to the Nokia E71 in its closed form, but the screen (half of which is obscured by the keyboard) rotates and swivels in an interesting way. At this point, the user is offered a huge landscape touchscreen and the QWERTY keyboard.
This seems like it could be a terrific proposition for people who want to combine the advantages of a touchscreen with a physical keyboard, but I’m thinking that it will be even thicker than the horizontally-sliding QWERTY smartphones on the market. It may also be quite expensive to produce, especially if they want the build quality and “solid feel” to be remain intact.
Still, this is a fascinating proposition into what the future of smartphones may bring. Just don’t expect to see anything like this anytime soon.