Typo settles suit with BlackBerry, now makes $189 iPad keyboards

Dubbed a "blatant ripoff" from BlackBerry's keyboards, Typo will no longer sell its product for iPhones. Apple tablets, however? That's another story.

If you ever bought a Typo, the BlackBerry-inspired keyboard for iPhone, you have a collector's item. After a year-and-a-half of litigation, BlackBerry on Monday settled its case with Typo, which will no longer sell keyboards for smartphones.

Typo can, however, sell keyboards for devices with a screen size of 7.9-inches or larger. In fact, it's doing just that: You can buy a Typo keyboard for the iPad mini or iPad Air tablets direct from the company's website.

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The company's keyboards for the iPhone were quickly well known for two reasons. First is the obvious look of BlackBerry's own keyboard; one of the best attributes about a BlackBerry. Second is the high profile name -- at least if you follow the entertainment industry -- of Ryan Seacrest, who backed Typo as an investor.

It didn't take long for BlackBerry to sue Typo, which it did in January of last year saying the Typo keyboard is a "blatant ripoff" off the company's keypad. In case you had any doubts, see for yourself.

Today's news isn't the end for Seacrest and the Typo name. Once I saw the official BlackBerry statement that Typo "may continue to sell keyboards for devices with a screen size of 7.9 inches or larger," I mused to myself: Isn't the iPad mini screen exactly 7.9 inches?

It is, and of course the iPad Air has a larger 9.7-inch screen. That's what Typo has become now: A maker of Bluetooth keyboards for Apple tablets.

The new Typo keyboards don't come cheaply, however. Regardless of the model you choose, you're looking at a $189 price. The new keyboards are thin and do have some interesting aspects: They offer full-sized keys, a hinging stand, and they magnetically attach to Apple's tablets.

Nearly $200 for a tablet accessory is going to be a tough sell though; even with Ryan Seacrest backing and hawking the product.

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