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HTC 'Maple' to unfold next month?

Taking a 'leaf' from the BlackBerry book

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HTC may unveil a 3G BlackBerry-style handset at a mobile phone industry shindig in the US next month, it’s been rumoured.

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HTC's Maple: to be launched next month?

Chinese-language newssite Economic Daily News has reportedly said HTC will launch the phone - cheekily codenamed 'Maple' - at the Cellular Telephone Industries Association trade fair – which kicks off in Las Vegas on 1 April.

Maple was first seen in a leaked document earlier this year, which it was thought contained images of the handset firm’s 2009 product line-up.

In that document, Maple was also referred to as the "3G Excalibure" [sic] and, despite the lack of a specifications sheet, a rear shot of the phone shows that it’s definitely equipped with a camera.

The physical Qwerty keyboard layout makes the phone look a lot like existing BlackBerry models, especially the Bold, and HTC’s also added three buttons onto either side of what looks like a thumb-operated scroll button.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) is, of course, a Canadian company. What better codename to grant the new BlackBerry lookalike than Canada's national symbol, the maple leaf?

A possible UK launch date or price for HTC’s Maple wasn’t named in the Chinese report, but it did reportedly state that the firm’s been in talks with four network operators in the US. ®

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