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Phones

Rumored HTC One A9 could boast 10-core processor

New reports suggest the fabled smartphone could be among the most powerful ever.

What does HTC have planned as a follow-up to the One M9? Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC could be poised to announce one of the world's most powerful smartphones ever, according to ongoing leaks and reports. The so-called HTC One A9 could pack some serious next-gen hardware and may arrive in late September.

Among the specifications rumored for the One A9 are a deca-core (yep, that's 10 cores) MediaTek Helio X20 processor with 4GB of RAM. With 1.96GHz per core, it would be a downright monster and could potentially run circles around other top smartphones.

A new flagship for the holiday season could be important for HTC, which has struggled to compete at the high end. Now, with a new crop of Samsung smartphones ( Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ ) selling now and the latest iteration of iPhones hitting the market, HTC's competitive woes are mounting.

Even if the alleged hardware for the One A9 is legit, it may not be enough for the ailing HTC. For this one to succeed, HTC will need to shake things up quite a bit. Specifically, the new phone can't look anything like the last few generations of One (M9, M8 ) models. While HTC received high marks for the One (M7) design in 2013, the company has riffed off that design too many times.

In perhaps a positive sign of things to come, HTC replaced its VP of industrial design earlier in 2015. Might enough time have passed for HTC to put together a fresh approach to its next-gen hero device? For HTC's sake, I sure hope so.

We may not have to wait long to see HTC unwrap the One A9; a press event is ostensibly scheduled for September 29. The date just so happens to line up with a rumor from June pegging an HTC "Aero" with a Q4 debut. As it happens, that's also the same day Google should be unveiling its new Nexus phones.

We're going to have a very busy holiday season.