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Meet Maple: HTC's Cavalier successor caught in the wild

Chris Ziegler

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It's been a long time coming, and it looks like HTC's finally gearing up to drop another portrait QWERTY device -- a dominant smartphone form factor that HTC has historically given surprisingly little love. Following the Excalibur (T-Mobile types know this one better as the Dash) and the 3G-capable Cavalier, CNET's Deutschland outpost has learned a bit about "Maple," and what the device lacks in beauty, it looks to make up in pure, raw, unadulterated productivity. You can't rightfully anoint it until you get your hands on it, but from a distance, this thing looks like it has one of the more usable portrait keyboards ever created, a trackball, and a cool new feature HTC is called "Inner Circle," which seems to aggregate communication with people you care about depending on the time of day and day of week. HTC had really been keen on what it's calling "people-centric communication" at MWC, so Inner Circle would certainly fall right into that -- and if you can get over the frumpy exterior, this sucker looks like a solid WinMo-based choice for the suits out there. No word on a release just yet.

[Thanks, Phil]

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