We've heard plenty of rumors about Facebook working on a smartphone of its own and today brings us a tune we've heard before. Bloomberg reports that the social network is teaming up with HTC to build a phone.
HTC is no stranger to Facebook phones, having released the HTC Salsa and the HTC ChaCha last year. However, despite the lukewarm success these two handsets have enjoyed since their launch, it seems HTC isn't ready to give up on producing a successful smartphone geared towards Facebook addicts. Back in April we heard rumors (from Digitimes) that the company was teaming up with Facebook to produce a Facebook-focused phone. This week, Bloomberg is citing people with knowledge of the matter who corroborate that rumor.
These sources say Facebook and HTC had originally intended to launch the phone by the end of the year but that this time frame has been pushed back to give HTC time to work on other projects. The two companies are now said to be looking at a mid-2013 release for the phone and Bloomberg reports that Facebook is developing a modified OS for the device.
HTC didn't comment on the report, but Facebook said in a statement that it's working with 'the entire mobile industry' to bring 'powerful social experiences to more people around the world.'
"Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social," Facebook said in a statement to Bloomberg. "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."
It's not yet clear what OS the phone will run on, though Bloomberg's mention of a modified operating system seems to suggest Facebook could be following in the foot steps of Amazon and developing its own operating system based on an Android foundation. Amazon uses its Android-based OS for the Kindle Fire and has its own Android app store to supply applications. Facebook has hired several former Apple employees too, though, and Bloomberg reports that they're working on mobile projects, so perhaps we might see an Android-based OS with a dash of iOS flavoring. Pretty interesting, no?