RIM's decision to finally show off a WebKit-based browser for its BlackBerry range was met with applause at Mobile World Congress - but it may not be good news for fans.

We asked RIM's head of developer relations Mike Kirkup whether the new browser will be used in legacy devices, and he hinted that it wouldn't be:

"Let's just say it's not a coincidence we showed it on the BlackBerry Bold 9700," he told us.

Powering the future

The Bold 9700 (or Bold 2) is RIM's latest device - hinting that this new WebKit browser, built after the company acquired developer Torch last year, won't be coming to older devices.

Kirkup did re-iterate that the new browser was likely to appear this year, which is something to cheer at least.

When asked why RIM decided to show the browser now, Kirkup said: "We wanted to show we had something real, that something was happening [in this space]."

He also explained why RIM's would be at the front end of mobile browsers: "Every other mobile browser out there takes 120% of the data to port it to your mobile - so if a web page is 100KB, it will take 120KB to get it to your phone.

"[RIM] recognises that bandwidth is scarce, so our browser only takes 40% of the data needed to get it on the screen."