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HTC One Gains Share, Smaller Version Coming

HTC sits in third place behind Apple and Samsung. Meanwhile, the company is developing a smaller version of the One, called the One Mini.

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Apple and Samsung still lead the smartphone pack at U.S. wireless stores. Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S4 are the top two sellers, according to R.W. Baird's William Power, who spoke with all four major carriers. HTC's One, the company's comeback bid, ranks third.

"At AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, the HTC One continues to be noted frequently as the third best-selling device behind the iPhone and S4," said Power in a note to investors. "At Verizon, the Motorola Razr HD and other Razr models are frequently highlighted as alternative options to the iPhone 5 and S4. The Samsung Note II, LG Optimus G, and LG Nexus 4 also received honorable mentions from several reps we spoke with."

Power's checks reflect data from other analysts in recent weeks, which show that Apple and Samsung continue to battle for the number one spot in the U.S, with players such as HTC following their lead. Given HTC's performance in the market over the last 18 months, third place for the One isn't a bad place to be. In fact, it's a laudable achievement in the face of tough competition from the iPhone and GS4. HTC should also be thanking the smartphone-powers-that-be it isn't in last place.

[ Samsung's S4 led the pack earlier this spring. Read Samsung Galaxy S4 Outsells iPhone 5. ]

Sales of BlackBerrys, for example, are "modest," according to Power. "The BlackBerry Q10 launched at Verizon last Monday and the results were very similar to what we saw at T-Mobile and AT&T two weeks ago," he noted. "The device is popular among diehard fans and enterprise users, though the vast majority of stores we contacted did not sell out of the product on launch day, and most reps indicated that sales were modest. As we noted last week, our checks reflect only the consumer channel and we expect that many Q10 sales are going through the B2B channel."

A handful of other analysts say that overall sales of the Q10 are off to a good start. For example, Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um, who thinks the Q10s keyboard is appealing to loyalists, said that the Q10 is selling much better than the Z10 did at launch.

While the One is HTC's flagship device for the year, its third-place ranking doesn't mean that HTC can rest on its laurels. In fact, the company is planning a successor to the One, called the HTC One Mini. Images of the One Mini have been floating around the Internet for several weeks. It looks nearly identical to the One, but smaller. It has the same aluminum chassis with gapless construction. The screen is smaller, probably measuring 4.3 inches rather than the One's 4.7-inch display. It also dials down the resolution from 1080p to 720p HD.

There's no word on when the HTC One Mini might make its debut.

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