Reputable Dutch site Tweakers has Alain Segond von Banchet, RIM channel sales manager according to LinkedIn, stating that the BlackBerry Storm followup is scheduled to launch at the end of the year or at the beginning of next. In addition, he has the phone coming to KPN, not Vodafone who had the first generation Storm locked-up under an exclusive deal. Interestingly enough, Mr. Segond von Banchet says that the Storm 2 (not the final name) will "offer among other things a new manner to input text" -- among other things meaning WiFi, presumably, as we heard before. Keep in mind that channel sales managers do not typically represent a company to the press. Nevertheless, what he's saying does jibe with previous rumors and we have no doubt that RIM is working hard to avoid the universal disdain that greeted the Storm's mushy, push-button touchscreen input.

Update: Tweakers responded telling us that Mr. Segond von Banchet was speaking on the record for RIM because there was no one from marketing at the TeleVisie 2009 Expo yesterday.

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