RIM's initial launch of the BlackBerry Storm wasn't terribly impressive. Plagued with interface problems and firmware bugs, it took the company several months to get the first set of issues hammered out. After that, they still faced very fierce competition from the iPhone. It's been no secret they have a successor to the Storm planned to hopefully fight back, but the specs and appearance of the device have been kept under wraps.

Luckily for BlackBerry fans, the first pictures of RIM’s upcoming touch screen smartphone have surfaced on a number of websites today, including CrackBerry, which has since removed them by request, and Engadget. Judging by the rather blurry images, there will be no dramatic design changes – the device looks slightly thinner than the original Storm and it appears that RIM has taken away the bottom four buttons on the phone and made them part of the touch-sensitive user interface.

Of course everyone will want to know what's on the inside, though unfortunately there’s not much to say at this point. CrackBerry claims the device in the photos is a GSM version of the Storm 2 that has Wi-Fi, a feature noticeably missing from its predecessor, but it appears that the rumored 5MP camera is absent – at least in this test unit which carries a 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera instead. We'll know more about it later this year, for sure, with current rumors putting a Storm 2 release sometime in September.