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First HTC smartwatch said to get private preview next week

The troubled handset maker is expected to demonstrate its first wearable device for wireless carriers at the Mobile World Congress, a source tells Bloomberg.

HTC is said to be ready to join Fitbit Force (left), Pebble, and Samsung Galaxy Gear in trying to earn a spot on your wrist.
Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC plans a private demonstration next week of a smartwatch, the first of three wearable devices next week, a well-placed source told Bloomberg.

The troubled handset maker will preview a prototype smartwatch based on Qualcomm's Toq smartwatch for wireless carriers during the Mobile World Congress, a source described as having direct knowledge of the company's plans told the news agency. The device will feature Qualcomm's Mirasol display technology, Bluetooth connectivity, and a music player, the person familiar said.

HTC is also working on two other wearable devices, including another smartwatch based on the Google Now predictive search feature, and an electronic bracelet that plays music, though those devices might not be demonstrated, Bloomberg's source said.

CNET has contacted HTC for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

HTC CEO Peter Chou told the Financial Times last October that the wearable technology market is a "critical segment for us," but he said he wasn't sure the time was right to jump into the space. One report held that the company was already working on a smartwatch that would snap photos.

The Taiwanese handset maker, which has struggled of late in the face of fierce competition from Apple and Samsung, recently confirmed long-standing rumors that it would jump into the wearable computing space. Cher Wang, the company's founder and chairwoman, told Bloomberg earlier this month that the company would sell a wearable device before the year's end.

The company was hard hit by a decline in its mobile market share last year, resulting in the company reporting its first quarterly net loss in more than 10 years. In an effort to reverse that slide, Chou relinquished some of his day-to-day duties to Wang to focus on innovation and product development.