It is not the first time that rumblings of a “Facebook Phone” have surfaced but a new report, by Tom Giles on Bloomberg TV, has added to the noise about this fabled handset.
It says, as before, that the phone will be an Android-based device. The manufacturer will allegedly be HTC but its launch is not due until the middle of 2013.
Previous reports had said that the phone was going by the codename Buffy and that the social networking behemoth had recruited a few ex-Apple engineers to bring over a little iPhone or iPad-style magic.
As The Next Web suggests, the strategy could work for Facebook, especially because there are so many different Android devices, running various releases of the OS, that it’s hard to get a consistent user experience across the platform. This is where Apple’s iOS has an advantage, but that’s not such an open system as Android.
So if Facebook really does want to press ahead with making an own-brand smartphone, probably targeting the cheaper/younger end of the market where it would have a large user base to appeal to, then it would need to partner with an Android specialist.
TNW got a very general, non-committal response from a Facebook spokesperson, who said: “Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”