Analyst says hybrid BlackBerry due in third quarter

It's been a little quiet on the BlackBerry rumour front of late, but a Canadian analyst is about to change all that with renewed talk of the previously rumoured hybrid BlackBerry from RIM, according to a Reuters report.

While a previous report of the handset - also from an analyst - pegged it as "a cross between the Storm 2 and one of RIM's non-touch QWERTY devices", TD Newcrest analyst Chris Umiastowski now suggests the device could launch in the third quarter and says it will offer "a clickable screen alongside a keyboard and an optical navigation pad".

As far as other future products go, Umiastowski says the leaked Pearl 9100, that we brought you images of back in November, will be "a big success, just like the last Pearl" thanks to its high res display and optical trackpad, while the Tour 2 is said to be in production.

The new hybrid device could offer RIM's new WebKit browser said to be "progressing well". "From what we've heard, RIM appears to be on track to close the gap with Apple, Android and Palm on the browser experience", said the analyst.