HTC Facebook Phone Coming Next Year – Report

Facebook is reportedly working with HTC to build its own smartphone, which could be released as early as the middle of next year.

Sources have told Bloomberg that the Facebook phone exists and that the social network is also working on its iPhone app as it seeks to monetise its wealth of mobile users.

Rumours of a Facebook-HTC collaboration have persisted ever since the Taiwanese manufacturer released two Facebook-friendly phones the ChaCha and Salsa in 2011, although these were not true Facebook smartphones.

Facebook Phone

The partners apparently intended to release the phone this year, but development was put back to allow HTC to work on other projects, such as the HTC One X. It is set to use a modified version of Android, much like the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

More than half of Facebook’s 900 million users access the social network through mobile devices, but none of its $3.15 billion in advertising sales comes from mobile adverts. The company introduced mobile ads in March, but has not revealed any figures yet, although it is due to reveal its quarterly results later today.

It is thought that Facebook will use the phone to appease investors and improve its share price, which has dropped by 23 percent since its initial public offering (IPO) in May. It has made several additions to its mobile team and its renewed focus on mobile also includes the overhaul of its iPhone application, although this could possibly because Mark Zuckerberg uses an iPhone himself.

The Facebook iOS app has been criticised for being overly-slow and an initial release could be available in the next few months, with a complete overhaul happening next year.

In April, it was reported that a handset would be released before the end of 2012, while last year it was suggested that a smartphone running a modified version of Android, called ‘Buffy’, was imminent.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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