Much of the HTC-related buzz in North America and Europe may be centered on the rumored "M7" handset, but let's not forget that China is a hugely important mobile market. That's where HTC will be hoping its latest smartphone, carrying the model number 603e, will make an impact. A mid-range device with a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1.15GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, the 603e has just shown up in the Chinese telecom equipment certification database, where it's been spotted by local outlet TENAA.
Other key specs for the phone include a 5MP front camera, a 2MP rear shooter, a thickness of 9.8mm and weight of 130 grams -- nothing too outstanding by any means. But at least the 603e is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so it's relatively up-to-date.
From a Western perspective, what's interesting about this device is its appearance. It seems to channel a few of the design cues we've seen from alleged leaks of HTC's high-end "M7" device. Note the large earpiece and prominent front-facing camera, as seen in an in-software render weeks ago. And the angled curve of the back is reminiscent of the device that HTC CEO Peter Chou flashed on stage at a recent company party. So even if we never see the 603e outside of China, this design might show in broad strokes what to expect from HTC in the future.
There's no word on release dates, branding or pricing for the HTC 603e, as it's yet to be officially announced. As an educated guess, we'd speculate that we might see more at or around this year's Mobile World Congress.