HTC is said to be "likely" to unveil its BlackBerry rival next month, according to a new report.

The new HTC handset is said to be codenamed the "Maple", presumably after the Canadian connection, and is rumoured for release at the CTIA Wireless 2009 trade fair which will be held in Las Vegas from 1 April.

The news comes from Far Eastern manufacturing sources with a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News.

The Windows Mobile-based Maple offers a QWERTY keyboard in a BlackBerry-esque design and is described as similar to Samsung's BlackJack and Moto's Q-series handsets.

Previous leaks have seen the Maple equipped with an "Inner Circle" function that organises contacts.

We will keep you posted.