blackberry-and-androidJust because Android 4.0 and above seems to favor pure touch — the Galaxy Nexus doesn't have any hardware buttons save for the volume and power — doesn't mean Google doesn't miss phones of yesteryear. In particular, ones with hardware keyboards. Manufacturers such as Kyocera and Samsung continue to manufacture Android devices with hardware keyboards, but what if Google added RIM to its mix of hardware makers?

Speaking with ABC News, Google's Matias Duarte, Director of Android User Experience, expressed his interest in the disappearing art of QWERTY. "I am still a huge fan of hardware keyboards," Duarte said. "I would love, personally, to have a portrait oriented device, like we made at Palm." Perhaps that's why Android looked the way it did back in 2007.

That might not mean much on its own. But Duarte then went on to comment about RIM's current plight, and even said if the BlackBerry-maker wanted to work on Android devices, Google "would really welcome that."

Research In Motion is in the predicament of all predicaments. Currently, its BlackBerry 10 operating system isn't slated to hit until 2013, and there are plenty of rumors swirling about the company's future, most recently about RIM partnering with Microsoft to use Windows Phone 8.

Companies seem to be open to the idea of using RIM's hardware expertise in future handsets; it's just a matter of whether or not the Waterloo, Canada-based company is willing to play ball as well.

[via ABC News]