Into every generation a phone is born. One phone in all the world, chosen to stop the threat of Google
Facebook is reportedly working on its first official smartphone, despite previously denying that it had any plans to produce a mobile.
HTC will build the device, codenamed ‘Buffy’, and it will run a modified version of Google’s Android operating system in a similar fashion to Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet.
HTC has previously produced Facebook integrated phones with dedicated buttons such as the Salsa and Cha Cha, but this would be the first time an official smartphone will have been made.
Samsung, which has just released Google’s new flagship device, the Galaxy Nexus, was also considered, but the Taiwanese manufacturer was given the go ahead by Facebook and the phone is expected to hit shelves next year.
Over half of British adults use social networking sites such as Facebook and the social network currently has 350 million active mobile users, but it wants to increase this number and tap into emerging markets.
Many people in the developing world are experiencing their first taste of the web via mobile phones as fixed-line connections are rare and the move is seen as an effort to strengthen Facebook’s foothold in the mobile arena as it seeks to reach its target of one billion global users.
In July it launched a low-cost smartphone with Vodafone in an effort to drive adoption of its mobile service, while it has also released a Facebook for Feature Phones App which allows users with lower-end mobile phones to use the social network.
A Facebook statement 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.”