blackberry pearlThe WES show is usually a good place to pick up rumors on the next generation of RIM devices. The latest rumor doing the rounds at WES and on BlackBerry Cool et al turns out to be less a ‘new’ device than it is an ‘improved’ device.

The Pearl, that beautiful piece of consumer-friendly hardware, is undergoing an upgrade. The BlackBerry 8300 has more bells and whistles so it seems that the next generation of Pearl will incorporate some of the new toys found in RIM’s latest business model.

The next Pearl will perhaps feature a Global Positioning System. That’s a great little toy for surveyors and hikers, but the general public might balk at paying data fees for something they will rarely use.

According to the rumors, RIM is listening to its customers and the GPS may be taken off the table for the new Pearl device. RIM appears to be leaning toward removing gadgets that people rarely use and instead improving the popular multimedia features that will pit it directly in competition with the likes of the iPhone.

The new Pearl will also be a 9xxx device, probably 9100. As a result the new Pearl will be significantly thinner than the current model and there will also be a resolution upgrade to the screen. That will aid in the delivery of enhanced multimedia capabilities.

No date for launch yet although reports are that this year will be optimistic.