Facebook phone to launch in mid-2013
Facebook is working with HTC on a new branded smartphone that will launch in mid-2013, according to a report.
Bloomberg West – a new business show by the media provider – claims that Taiwanese firm HTC will produce the Facebook phone for release next year.
“Facebook is said to work with HTC on mobile phone for Mid-2013,” Bloomberg West tweeted.
HTC already has an existing relationship with Facebook that has resulted in new HTC handsets launching with dedicated buttons giving direct access to the social network, including the HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa.
But speculation that the two companies are working on a Facebook-branded phone emerged last year, with the project thought to be codenamed ‘Buffy’.
No details are known about the Facebook phone, but it is expected that it would run the Google Android operating system and possibly have HTC’s Sense user interface, most likely integrated very closely with Facebook features.
In May, The New York Times reported multiple sources as saying that Mark Zuckerberg’s company had earmarked the Facebook smartphone for a launch next year.
The paper said that Facebook has hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers to work on the Buffy project, including people who worked on the iPhone and one person who worked on the iPad.