Those rumours of a touchscreen 9000-series BlackBerry device coming soon from RIM have been given some analyst backing.

A new research note from the financial group GMP Securities "confirms" the existence of the new device, a form factor departure for RIM, as well as info on a new Pearl.

Referred to as "Touchscreen 1.0" in the note but known as the BlackBerry 9100, the device will apparently offer a slide-out QWERTY keyboard under a large touchscreen display giving the best of both worlds in terms of input methods.

Online reports vary as to other spec for the device, with this source suggesting 3G connectivity, but others have previously maintained it will be a 2.5G handset.

Also mentioned in the note, the "Pearl 2.0" will be similar to the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 but will reportedly include a "unique" keypad that can swivel 90 degrees to provide a more comfortable typing environment.

Still firmly in the realms of rumour, it is expected that if these two new handsets are to emerge, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February would be the likely venue.