Verizon has finally confirmed that it will be offering the BlackBerry Storm 2 handset from Wednesday 28 October in the US.

The handset, which is the follow on from the original BlackBerry Storm that launched in 2008, will cost $179.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new 2-year customer agreement on a voice plan with an Email and Web feature or an Email and Web for BlackBerry plan.

It will come with the latest BB 5.0 OS, feature Wi-Fi, an improved 3.25-inch touchscreen display as well as 3G, EV-DO Revision A, UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz), and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM connectivity.

There will be 256MB of flash memory, 2GB of onboard memory and a microSD/SDHD memory card slot to expand things further.

Elsewhere users will get a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, and a 3.5mm stereo jack for music listening. 

The news comes as RIM and Verizon announced that it would be offering a software update to the original Storm. 

The new OS, version 5.0, will offer improved typing and selecting, stability and user interface enhancements and the promise of a faster browser with gears support for use with offline applications. The software update isn't expected on the Vodafone network in the UK until 2010 according to reports on