Speculation is mounting that RIM is about to launch a BlackBerry handset designed to compete more effectively with Apple's iPhone and the increasingly popular Android smartphones.
Information has already been leaked to the web regarding RIM's next device, identified as the BlackBerry 9800 or BlackBerry Torch, although these could be codenames rather than the name under which it will sell.
Sources including Reuters have indicated that the launch may come as early as next week.
The handset is expected to be the first to ship with BlackBerry OS 6, the latest update to RIM's software platform, which was demonstrated at the firm's WES 2010 event in April.
The update features multi-touch controls, better integration with social networks and a revamped browser.
The new device is said to feature a large touch screen for gesture inputs, as well as a slide-out Qwerty keyboard to support the BlackBerry's traditional market of corporate email users.
Photos claiming to be of the device show similar styling to current models, with a touchpad flanked by phone keys underneath the screen. The keyboard slides down from under the screen and looks almost identical to that of the BlackBerry 9700.
RIM declined to answer queries about future products, but indicated to V3.co.uk that an announcement of some kind is due in the near future.
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