Smartphone expected to be released in third quarter of 2012
Taiwanese mobile manufacturer HTC is working with Facebook to release a customised smartphone sometime in the third quarter of 2012, Digitimes reports.
‘Industry sources’ said that the Android phone will feature an exclusive platform for Facebook, designed to accommodate all of the functions available on the site.
The forthcoming handset will be the third to emerge from a Facebook-HTC partnership. The ChaCha and Salsa, both released last year, featured a dedicated Facebook button and had better mobile integration for the social network, but were not ‘Facebook phones’ as had been expected.
Last November rumours circulated about a third project, codenamed ‘Buffy’, thought to feature a modified version of Android and meant to be constructed by HTC.
Digitimes’ sources say that Facebook may launch its own-branded handsets down the line, but this would go against what the company has said in the past.
Though the Buffy project and Facebook-branded handsets may never come to fruition, the ChaCha, Salsa and Digitimes’ reports of a phone this year emphasises the social network’s stance on mobile. An SEC filing on Monday revealed that 488 million users logged into Facebook through a smartphone or tablet in March alone. Facebook’s decision to partner once again with HTC should help improve the mobile platform as a complete port of the desktop version.
The partnership would help to bolster HTC’s standing, which has faltered during a bad period. The company was forced to streamline its product range due to increased competition from other Android phone makers, especially Samsung. The South Korean company took over HTC’s role of producing Google’s Nexus range of flagship Android phones
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