Apple marring the form factor of the iPhone to create a mutant with a slide-out keyboard just to please business users sounds about as far out there as it gets, but that's exactly what the Reg is suggesting. According to their reports (unclear whether it's from "inside Cupertino" or "inside mobile operators" 'cause of their wording), "whether or not [Steve Jobs] ever makes it work, he is already trying to make a 'slide-out' keyboard for a corporate version of the iPhone" that he's showing prototypes of to certain operators. If this thing ever came to light, it would be way next year and not aimed at consumers.
We're going to say this emerging from the depths of Apple seems pretty unlikely—as much as Apple might want to crib marketshare from BlackBerry and Co. (which rests in part on the keyboard), we just don't see Apple making hardware just for business users, especially potentially bulky, less than aesthetically perfect hardware. (Though Apple would obviously pretty it up.) Besides, you do get used to the keyboard—though driving while texting your mom isn't as easy. [The Register]