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Rumor Mill: HTC M7 to launch via AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile

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AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA will launch HTC's forthcoming flagship Android smartphone, codenamed the M7, according to the blog HTC Source, as the Taiwanese smartphone maker seeks to breathe life back into its business, especially in the U.S. market. 

According to the blog, which cited an unnamed source, the carriers will launch the device as the HTC One on March 22 for $199.99 with a two-year contract. It is unclear if or when Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will launch the device. HTC launched its One series of phones last year at the Mobile World Congress trade show, hoping that they would help simplify the company's brand and lead to a revival in sales. However, HTC's 2012 was marked by sales and profit declines amid intense competition.

An HTC spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company is holding a press event Feb. 19 to unveil a new device, widely expected to be the M7.

The M7, if it is released, likely will represent HTC's latest attempt to deliver a "hero" device to grab back luster in the smartphone market. Leaked images of the device show that it bears a striking resemblance to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 and the BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:BBRY) Z10. According to leaked images and rumors, the devices will feature a revamped version of HTC's Sense user interface that is focused more on the kind of live tiles that mark Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone, as well as camera and sound enhancements.

HTC, once the darling of the smartphone world, especially in the U.S. market, has fallen on hard times recently due to intense competition from Samsung Electronics and Apple, as well as from the likes of Huawei and ZTE. According to research firm IDC, HTC captured 4.6 percent of the global smartphone market for the full-year 2012, down from 8.8 percent in 2011. The company reported a 91 percent drop in net income in the fourth quarter and forecast continued declines in revenue.

For more:
- see this HTC Source post
- see this The Verge article
- see this separate The Verge article

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