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HTC’s new smartwatch set to appear at MWC next week

After a luckluster 2013 in which HTC’s chief financial officer Chang Chialin recently admitted he and his team “took our eyes somewhat off the ball,” the Taiwanese mobile maker is clearly hoping for a more dynamic 2014, with several significant product launches known to be in the pipeline.

While we’re already expecting the company to unveil the sequel to its highly regarded HTC One phone at a special event set for March 25, a Bloomberg report Thursday suggests it’s also gearing up to take the wraps off a prototype of its confirmed smartwatch as early as next week, at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Unfortunately for gadget fans, the preview is said to be for carriers only, with no public display planned, though DT reporters at the event will certainly be sniffing around for any sign of the device.

According to Bloomberg’s unnamed source, the smartwatch is based on Qualcomm’s Toq device, which features a Mirasol low-power color display and comes with a neat cable-free charge case for efficient wireless charging. The company is also said to be working on a smartwatch with heavy Google Now integration and “an electronic bracelet that plays music,” though it’s not clear if these two devices will also be doing the rounds at MWC.

HTC executive Cher Wang said in an interview earlier this month that the company hopes to have a smartwatch in stores by the end of the year. She added that engineers at the mobile device firm have been looking at developing smartwatches and other wearables for “many years,” but difficulties in overcoming issues with, for example, battery life, have hindered progress. However, Bloomberg’s report Thursday suggests it’s making some headway with its wearable-tech plans.

HTC has said it believes a wider variety of products, which includes wearables, and better marketing, are key to its efforts to boost revenue, though with an increasing number of companies set to enter the smartwatch market this year, it will need to bring something pretty special to the table to have a realistic chance of establishing itself in the space.

DT is covering next week’s MWC in full, so be sure to check back for any developments on this story and others.

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