Carphone Warehouse will sell the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 handset to UK users from next Friday. After a call to the Carphone Warehouses sales team this morning confirmed handsets were expected to arrive with them later this week, the mobile phone vendor has confirmed an official launch date of 20 December.

Despite this, RIM is continuing to deny it's about to launch a new Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry Curve handset in the UK. Carphone Warehouse has the exclusive distribution deal for the BlackBerry Curve 8900 Titanium handset and has been offering it for pre-order for the past couple of weeks.

Carphone Warehouse says the devices will cost £391.44 on a pay as you go basis or to be available for free on £35 to £40 contracts.

The quad-band handset will have a 2.4in display and come with built-in Wi-Fi, GPRS and Edge, Bluetooth, a 3.2Mp camera with flash and zoom, BlackBerry Maps and a GPS receiver.

Navigation will be via a BlackBerry trackball situated just below the screen. Unlike the BlackBerry Storm, this will not be a touchscreen. The smartphone will have a Qwerty keypad for email and text message composition.

The Curve 8900 will accept microSD memory cards of up to 16GB. The handset will have a 1,400mAh battery to ensure the phone can be left in standby or used for lengthy conversations for many hours between charges.

RIM's UK press office is refusing to acknowledge the imminent arrival of the Curve 8900, however, and continues to state that it is an unannounced product about which we will be told in due course, should a launch happen.

Mobile operator details for the Curve 8900 have not been announced, but T-Mobile is already selling the BlackBerry Curve 8900 handset in Germany.