Apple on-screen keyboard patent opens UMPC possibilities

Apple_touchpack_keyboardThe stars appear to be aligning for a new Apple portable computing device. Will it be a Tablet? Perhaps a UMPC-contender? Difficult to say, but consider various evidence:

I personally don’t like the concept of having all of the keys on side of the screen; I prefer the two-sided approach that DialKeys presents, but perhaps this is just conceptual right now. Besides, having the keys on side of the screen leaves room for the virtual click-wheel on the other side.

While I’d love to see a sleekly designed portable computing device from Apple, this is clearly all speculation. However, when you put these discrete bits of info together, it adds up to a interesting picture in the UMPC space. Any thoughts on if this will happen, or better yet, what are the implications to the Microsoft-based UMPC market if it does?