Could Steve Jobs be secretly developing and testing a slide-out keyboard version of the iPhone to make certain tic-tactile thumb typing enterprise customers happy? Sure. And he could be getting ready to license OS X to Dell and switch out the Mac casings to the little beige box company.
Of course, the same Jobs who said Apple wouldn't make a slider also said Apple wouldn't make a phone, and only a seasoned Kremlinologist can divine anything even remotely resembling Apple's forward looking plans anyway, so here, to go along with iFlip and iPhone Nano, is the iSlider:
What he is apparently doing is canvassing the idea with operators. "If you had a keyboard version, how many would you take?" And he has taken this beyond just chatting: actual prototypes - not just mockups - have been sent to senior executives at some operators. I'm not allowed to even hint which operators... but I can report that the keyboard has "issues" which are not yet resolved.
What "issues" remain unresolved? The big, honking lack of keyboard? Only time and and a Macworld Jobsnote Boom! will tell.
Personally, I've never been great on hard keyboards (as my old Treo, still sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic, will tell you), so I'm not particularly interested in this. How about you? Any urge to get your QUERTY on?