RIM has leaked details of its new Blackberry phones in an apparent effort to stave off competition from Apple's iPhone.

Despite the fact that the iPhone will not compete with the Blackberry, shares in RIM have dropped 15 percent since Steve Jobs announced the iPhone.

As luck would have it, RIM has products in development which website Unstrung describes as "for the cognoscenti, almost as hotly anticipated as was the iPhone".

The Blackberry 8800 will be a wider version of the Blackberry 8100 Pearl, with a full ASCII keyboard, according to BoyGenius Report. This will make it look good, but in effect, it will just be an upgrade to the stolid Blackberry 8700. There will be two versions - with and without a camera.

Like the Pearl, the 8800 series will play heavily on multimedia functions (a camera and a music player) alongside the existing strong email functions. By comparison, the iPhone is taking multimedia, and adding phone and email - though without a Qwerty keyboard, it's never going to appeal to Blackberry users.

The real Blackberry upgrade will come later in the year, when RIM is expected to launch a 9000 series, which will operate on 3G (and one might hope, Wi-Fi), and will, according to Boy Genius, "feature a completely redesigned Blackberry GUI". It is also expected to feature a full system back-up and restore to a micro-SD card.