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(Pocket-lint) - Rumours of a new mid-range HTC phone are ramping up, suggesting it could be announced soon. Or, at least, a HTC badged phone.

The HTC U12 Life has been touted since spring this year, and we fully expect to hear something official on it in the next couple of weeks. However, according to a reliable source online, it won't actually be made by HTC itself, just carry its name.

Considering how things have worked out for other phone brands that have turned to third-party manufacturers, that sounds ominous. Here's looking at you BlackBerry.

We don't yet know which company will be making the HTC U12 Life, but leak specialist @LlabTooFer claimed on Twitter that it will definitely be built by a separate ODM (Original Design Manufacturer).

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He also revealed that it will come with Android 8.1 from the box, not the newly released Android 9 (Pie).

Perhaps the choice to outsource its lower-end handsets means HTC is looking to concentrate fully on flagships in-house. After all, it has a much smaller device team since Google acquired the majority of the department.

As for the HTC U12 Life as a phone, it is expected to come with a 6-inch screen with no notch (contrary to previous rumours), dual 16-megapixel and 5-megapixel camera on the rear, a 13-megapixel selfie camera and 3,600mAh battery.

Writing by Rik Henderson.