A "live" image of the forthcoming BlackBerry Thunder smartphone from RIM has been posted online.

US blog Boy Genius Report has the inside info on the new device that will be RIM's first foray into the world of touchscreen smartphones.

Apparently due to launch on the Verizon network in the States, which could mean a Vodafone debut over here, the device loses the traditional BlackBerry keypad in favour of a touch input interface.

Said to be due for launch in Q3 of this year, the exact tech spec for the phone is yet to be confirmed, although it will launch at the high-end of RIM's range.

More information is promised soon, so stay tuned for additional details as and when we have them.