Called the Thunder, it would be based on a true touchscreen similar to the one used by the Apple's iPhone, and would have no keypad common to other BlackBerry devices. Instead it would have only four physical keys and no slide-out keyboard, according to the Boy Genius Report and Wall Street Journal.
A spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, which is also said to be planning to launch the handset, and officials at BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, would not comment late on Friday.
RIM announced a more typical new BlackBerry device earlier this week, the BlackBerry Bold, which will run on faster 3G networks. Officials described it as being for power users as well as consumers willing to spend more than they would for a typical mobile phone.
A RIM marketing official also said last week in an interview with PC Advisor's sister title Computerworld US that RIM is not looking to compete directly with the iPhone to reach a consumer audience instead of the BlackBerry's more traditional business users. RIM said the Bold came in response to requests by customers.