RIM has given TechRadar some tantalising first details of its likely first QNX-based smartphone product.

It's no secret that RIM's plan is to gradually move its smartphone line-up over to the QNX system that the BlackBerry PlayBook already runs.

Speaking to TechRadar, Carlo Chiarello, VP of GSM/UMTS business unit at RIM, told us that BlackBerry is already working with prototype models of the new QNX-based phones.

PhoneBook

When asked when we'll see the first QNX BlackBerry phones coming out, Chiarello told us, "The reality is that our teams have done a phenomenal job in such a short period of time to do what they're doing on PlayBook.

"That [QNX] experience is going to start to come in to our high tier products. I can't tell you when; I'm not allowed to. But it's absolutely part and parcel of what we're working on now.

"I can tell you that it's going to come in to the higher tier value propositions first. It'll probably come into an all-touch first, more than likely… but I can't tell you timings specifically. But it looks marvellous!".

BlackBooks

Add this to co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' comments from earlier this year and a picture of a tablet-esque smartphone begins to appear. He said, "We are working on multi-core smartphones, and QNX is our multi-core platform for those devices."

So: an all-touch multi-core QNX-running high-tier BlackBerry smartphone is on its way.

Despite Chiarello's reluctance to be drawn on specific timings, certain other comments lead us to suppose that we'll see this QNX-toting bad boy hitting the shelves in around 18 months.

Thing is, we've already got a crop of dual-core all-touch smartphones doing the rounds now (HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S2); if we're right about timings, the boat RIM wants to be on seems to be sailing on by as we speak.