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iTwinge: The iPhone in BlackBerry shortpants

iTwinge. Photo: Mobile Mechatronics

Keyboard lovers, be careful what you wish for.

Having famously eschewed the BlackBerry-style keyboard to offer users a new, if somewhat inefficient, way to enter text on a mobile device, Apple’s (AAPL) crack design team can now watch its work get undone.

How? With  a slide-on attachment that gives the iPhone the keyboard Steve Jobs would not. (See video below.)

iTwinge, as the device is called, draws power from the iPhone and somehow translates tactile clicks on the keyboard “skin” into virtual keystrokes on the touchscreen. Mobile Mechatronics, the Toronto-based manufacturer, claims that after a 3 or 4 hour training period, the average user will type 30% to 40% faster and reduce typing errors by 70% to 80%.

Of course, iTwinge also ruins the iPhone’s slender figure and has to be removed before you can do anything else on the screen.

It’s scheduled to ship Nov. 12 for $30. But if you want a mobile keyboard that bad, you might consider a Palm (PALM) Pre. Research in Motion (RIMM) also makes several devices that might fit your needs

Below the fold: The iTwinge in action.