While 2012 will ultimately mark the arrival of RIM’s new BlackBerry 10 OS, we still know very little about the hardware that will feature the new platform. The only candidate we’ve seen real imagery of is what we know as the BlackBerry London, a full-touchscreen model with the PlayBook’s widescreen aspect ratio. That had us wondering just what RIM was thinking about the role of its iconic QWERTY keyboard in this next generation of hardware. We got some insight into that last month when a render was leaked of a portrait-orientation QWERTY slider called the BlackBerry Milan. Unfortunately, that may be all we ever get out of the Milan, as a new rumor claims that RIM has already canceled its plans for the handset.
Exactly why RIM would decide to pull the plug on the Milan hasn’t yet been made public, but it supposedly comes down to a hardware issue. It’s not clear if that means RIM was unsatisfied with the Milan’s planned tech specs, or if it had second thoughts about the phone’s form factor, which looked like it had a tendency to become a little hard to handle with the keyboard extended. We’ve already heard from RIM that it’s waiting on new LTE chips, so maybe existing projects are being canned, rather than letting them stagnate until the chips are available. Regardless, with the Milan no longer in the running, we’re back to wondering just how RIM plans to marry hardware keyboards with its new platform.