By Keerthi Chandrashekar / ( | First Posted: Jan 07, 2013 10:35 PM EST

(Photo : REUTERS/Lucas Jackson )

Now that 2013 is kicking off, it's time to start looking ahead to all the shiny new toys manufacturers will be churning out over the coming months. Two top-tier smartphone manufacturers should both have flagship devices hitting retail stores' shelves during the first half of 2013 that should spice up the already-heated competition. Apple's next iPhone can be referred to as the iPhone 6 (or iPhone 5S) and HTC's next flagship handset is currently dubbed the M7 - here's what we know about them as of now. 

Apple's iPhone 6 is expected by many to be the first in the iPhone lineup to offer color choices beyond that of simply black and white. Some analysts believe the iPhone 6 will launch in 6-8 different colors and in more than one size - with an 'iPhone mini' releasing sometime in the future. Other than that, the iPhone 6 is rumored to have an HD display and camera, NFC chip, and a more powerful processor. A recent report a indicates that the iPhone 6 could also introduce iOS 7. 

Apple is looking to speed up its production cycle, and should have the next iPhone out by May 2013. There's no word on pricing, but expect it to take over the current iPhone 5 price points.  The Cupertino-based electronics manufacturer will also be looking to release an  iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 around the same time as well. 

HTC has had a lackluster year due to what it calls "poor marketing," but the M7 is shaping up to be a serious top-tier smartphone. Based on rumors and leaks, we can tell the M7 will be feature a design similar to the HTC Droid DNA. A new HTCSource report also states that the M7 will come pre-installed with HTC Sense 5.0, and an interface that is "simple and clean." Under a 4.7-inch 1080p screen, the M7 should be coming with a Qualcomm APQ8064 quad-core processor, LTE support, and 32B internal memory storage.

The HTC M7 is currently reported to be running Android 4.1.2, but even if it doesn't release with Android 4.2, expect an update to roll out soon. HTC is going to want to hit the ground running in 2013, and the M7 is currently slated for a Q1 2013 release. 

Which one of these two smartphones has you more excited? Apple's next-gen iPhone, or HTC's M7?

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