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Guests use a sample phone at the launch of the HTC One smartphone in London February 19, 2013REUTERS/Toby Melville

Nearly nine months after HTC One made its global debut, the Taiwanese company has reportedly begun working on its successor for an early launch next year.

Chinese website ePrice has leaked out a series of pictures of the alleged HTC One successor, codenamed 'M8', with key specification details.

In the snapshots, the phone appears curvy and strikingly similar to its metal-clad predecessor. But one noticeable anomaly is that the small hole over the camera module on the back cover, which many believe may be reserved for the fingerprint sensor. [To view the HTC M8 pictures, click here].

The website said that HTC's forthcoming phone will flaunt a bigger 5.0-inch plus screen and pack the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series CPU which can top a maximum speed up to 2.3GHz.

Other features include 3GB RAM, 'Beats Audio' speakers and custom interface Sense v6.0. There is no word on whether M8 would ship with Android OS v4.3 or v4.4, but many believe that it may run on the new KitKat OS, since it is expected for a debut in early 2014.  

If the leaked specifications of the M8 turn out to be true, it will be a worthy upgrade to the current flagship HTC One model.

Rumour has it that HTC is planning to unveil the new marquee phone at MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2014 which is scheduled to kick-off in Barcelona, Spain, on 24-27 February. The company had unveiled the current HTC One by hosting simultaneous events at New York City and London, just days before this year's MWC began.