We’re already well into 2012, so it’s about time we had a new rumour concerning the mythical Facebook Phone, a device which has apparently been ‘in development’ for some time judging by the numerous leaks over the last year.
This time it’s DigiTimes who’re talking about the device, and they say HTC is hard at work on a ‘customised smartphone’ that’s being developed with the help of Facebook. The phone will probably use a heavily altered version of Android, and contain all the major Facebook services and features.
Back in November last year, talk of a project known as Buffy leaked out, which tied HTC with a Facebook phone then too. So is this further proof that such a project exists and is being actively worked on? AllThingsD, who broke the Buffy story, certainly thinks so, and calls it Facebook’s ‘most serious effort to extend its desktop platform on mobile devices.’
Aside from the knowledge that the project is being worked on, there’s little to get excited about just yet, as we’ve no information on the hardware or software, and there’s little chance it’ll go on sale before the very end of 2012.
While such as device is important to Facebook, it’s also important for HTC, as the manufacturer has been struggling to find favour in the Android community recently, especially as Google has repeatedly chosen Samsung to produce its flagship Nexus phones. Making the official Facebook phone will see the company get plenty of attention, and should the software be as radical as we hope, could claw back some of that hardcore Android fan credibility it has lost.
Facebook is also expected to complete its IPO during May or June this year.