Android design chief, Matias Duarte, would love to work with RIM on Android devices

Not that it wasn’t expected after yesterday’s earnings call, but other company execs are saying they’d be willing to have RIM come over to their “dark” side if temptation strikes. Matias Duarte, head of design for Android at Google, said yesterday at Google I/O that he would love to work with RIM to create a great Android phone with a RIM-quality keyboard — something that users have been clamouring for in recent years.

“If RIM wanted to work on Android devices, I would really welcome that. They clearly make great physical keyboards,” he told ABC News. “I think there is a place for [physical keyboards] — it’s all about choice and different types of devices. I would love, personally, to have a portrait oriented device, like we made at Palm.” Before coming to Google, Duarte worked as the design lead on many innovative products, including the hardware-sporting Palm Pre.

The question really is whether there is still a market for QWERTY devices; the proliferation of accurate soft keyboards like SwiftKey and BlackBerry 10’s upcoming solution, are making hardware keyboards a thing of the past. Sure, the average business person may still prefer plucking away at a BlackBerry Bold 9900 than an iPhone, but that is quickly changing.

Despite the delay until Q1 2013, RIM is on track to bring a QWERTY BB10 device to market by the first part of next year, barring any further delays. Portrait Android devices like the Motorola Pro+ and HTC Status were met with tepid responses, so perhaps it’s best that hardware devices slowly go away.

What do you think? Would you buy a QWERTY Android device if RIM designed it?

Source: ABC News