As a huge fan of 'Pine64' https://www.pine64.org/ I was delighted to see this announcement in their recent newsletter. Owning a device which allows not only allows the most 'private' experience possible from prying governments and corporates but it also allows me to use all the linux apps I've got so used to (within the limits of an 'arm64' phone) such a refreshing approach. Hope to see much more from these guys in the future.
'Pine64' commented on the proposed new design:-
"After some consideration we have opted to go with a clamshell design for the keyboard. The PinePhone is large and heavy enough to be unwieldy when held by a thin slab of plastic such as that of a slide-out keyboard. This clamshell design can, however, be folded practically flat so it is comfortably used without placing the device on a surface. The keyboard section also holds a large (probably 5000mAh) battery, which not only more-than-doubles the phone’s stand-by time but also acts as a weighty counterbalance. Many of you will also recognize that we decided to use the keyboard layout we proposed and discussed with the community in August. From a mechanical standpoint, the keyboard clamps onto the phone (for which you need to remove the back-cover) and interfaces with the device using the pogo pins.
I’m sure this news will get many of you excited, but please keep in mind that presently it is impossible for me to guarantee that this particular plan for the keyboard will pan out and that the vendor will come through on their promises. But I think there is a good chance it will happen, so I decided to share it with you."