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HTC One 2 release date leaked by judge in Nokia case

The British judge presiding over HTC and Nokia's legal scrap has apparently confirmed the release of the HTC One 2.

Order, order! When it comes to mobile phones, leaks come from all over the place -- and now a British judge has joined in the fun, apparently confirming the release of the HTC One 2, successor to the HTC One.

Ruling on a patent dispute between Nokia and HTC in which he banned the sale of the HTC One Mini, Justice Arnold of the High Court said a new model would be launched in February or March 2014.

The date was introduced in evidence by Nokia, and HTC's lawyer hasn't denied it. That fits with other recent rumours tipping the new phone, reportedly codenamed the M8, for release at the end of Q1 2014.

The timing of the new One Two has an impact on the court's decision about whether to ban the One. "Patent litigation rarely happens quickly enough to change the market," says industry expert Ian Fogg of IHS. "By the time the full legal process with appeals has completed, the mobile handset market has moved on to newer models."

HTC has until Friday to prepare an appeal against the ruling. Meanwhile an HTC spokesperson told me "We do not comment on rumour and speculation." Even when it comes from a man in a wig, apparently.

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The One has seen a slew of spin-offs including the larger HTC One Max and smaller HTC One Mini. But despite award-winning and universally praised design, the One hasn't reversed HTC's declining fortunes as the Taiwanese company lost money for the first time this year.

What would you like to see in the sequel to the HTC One, or is it already a perfect smart phone? Tell us your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.