HTC Maple smartphone to launch in US in early April

The HTC Maple smartphone will launch in the U.S. this April.

Taiwanese smartphone developer High Tech Computer (HTC) plans to launch the HTC Maple in the U.S. next month to coincide with the International CTIA Wireless 2009 exhibition slated to start on April 1.

The handset is a refresh of the T-Mobile Dash, a person familiar with the situation said Friday.

The Dash handset looks like an early BlackBerry, with a large QWERTY keypad on the face. The HTC Maple will upgrade the software to use the TouchFLO 3D touchscreen navigation software HTC developed to run on Windows Mobile handsets. The device will continue to operate on Windows Mobile software.

No further details of the HTC Maple were immediately available.

In related news, the person said there are no plans by HTC to launch the HTC Magic anytime soon in the U.S. The HTC Magic, also known as the G2 because it's the second handset based on Google's Android OS, is being launched by Vodafone in the U.K. and Spain this spring.

The HTC Magic may launch in the U.S. later this year, the person said.

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