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RIM: The BlackBerry trackpad is not dead

Touchscreen, QWERTY and a trackpad: spoilt for choice
Touchscreen, QWERTY and a trackpad: spoilt for choice

RIM may be all about the touchscreens these days, but it still has a lot of love for the humble and oft-overlooked smartphone trackpad.

With the company releasing more and more touchscreen smartphones, like the BlackBerry Torch and the newly launched Bold Touch 9900, you could be forgiven for thinking the trackpad's days are numbered.

"People like having their finger on that screen and manipulating it. But this takes nothing away from using the trackpad," Carlo Chiarello, RIM's VP of GSM/UMTS Business Unit, told TechRadar in an interview.

Safety pad

"We tested a bunch of designs that got rid of the trackpad… and it wasn't the same," he continued.

"If you're coming from a keyboard environment on a BlackBerry, it's almost a little bit of a safety net for you."

Although any future full-touch handsets will likely be as trackpad-less as the BlackBerry PlayBook, as far as RIM's hybrid touchscreen/QWERTY smartphones are concerned, the trackpad is here to stay.