HTC hasn’t been faring too well as of late, getting hammered by Samsung and Apple in the smartphone market, in spite of a bevy of attractive devices that the Taiwanese put out, from the One X to the Droid DNA. Now, rumors suggest that, with all the troubles it faced, HTC is still betting the house on its marque focus on great engineering and top notch products.

The next big thing for HTC will be a device codenamed M7, that is slated to hit the market in March 2013. This year, the Taiwanese have unveiled their trio of leading devices, the One series, at the end of February at MWC. The One X, S, and V launched in European markets in April, which gave HTC a slight edge against Samsung, whose flagship Galaxy S3 was revealed in early May, and rolled out in June.

Now, HTC is trying to get an even better head start, by making the M7 available in stores in March. This schedule implies a public debut in January or early February; a CES appearance can’t be ruled out.

Having the M7 out early would hopefully give HTC more time to gain momentum in the market, and avoid getting smothered in the hype storm that will precede the launch of the Galaxy S4.

According to Taiwanese media reports, the M7 will feature a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) processor, a 5-inch full HD display, a 13MP camera, and a metal (aluminum, we presume) unibody shell. The same report claims that HTC will launch the first smartphone powered by the Tegra 4 chip sometimes in the first half of 2013. We’ll dig more on this and come back with more details.

The FocusTaiwan news site quotes a research firm that claims that HTC placed orders to casing and semiconductor suppliers for 4 to 5 million M7 units. For perspective, consider that the same firm estimates HTC’s total shipments in Q4 2012 at about 7 million devices.

It’s emboldening to see that HTC is not giving up the fight, even when facing with such mighty opponents like Samsung and Apple. The first months of next year shape out to be a very exciting time for technology lovers and we’ll be there to cover it all.