If the rumors are anything to go by, then soon a Facebook Phone will be made available to one and all. And the rumors are anything but a word of mouth, the social networking giant is in serious discussions with a cell phone manufacturer to build a new phone.
Remember a year ago it was strongly speculated that Facebook is planning on launching a phone or perhaps a smartphone with highly integrated social-networking tools of Facebook and back then it was confirmed by CNET that the social-networking giant had contacted the hardware manufacturers and carriers, soliciting feedbacks and comments on a Facebook branded phone. But the rumors died the moment devices with Facebook buttons were announced earlier this year. But now it seems like Facebook has decided to build its own phone.
On Tuesday, it was reported that the Facebook is in serious rounds of discussions with HTC to manufacture a smartphone with an in built core feature of Facebook social-networking. It has been reported that the phone is interestingly the new phone is code named “Buffy” in an amusing reference to a popular television show about a vampire slayer. The phone is believed to be based on an extended version of Android, which has been duly tweaked by the Facebook to throughly unify its services with the phone.
Facebook was also considering Samsung to build the device for it but finally went with HTC. It should be noted that HTC has already built two phone with dedicated Facebook buttons – Salsa and ChaCha, which were introduced earlier this year by HTC. There are other phone manufactures who have also put the Facebook buttons on their and the list includes the likes of INQ Mobile and Motorola.
However, according to the reports, the new phone, or better, the Facebook “Buffy” phone will be different from the rest of the devices because instead of just providing access to Facebook, it will integrate into the mobile the efficient social networking technology developed by the company. Though this is not a new concept and other platforms has already executed it. For instance, the features of Facebook and Twitter have been already integrated in the Operating System of the Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which allows the users to share their contacts across different various applications on the phone. And previously Facebook had team up with Research in Motion to integrate Facebook with BlackBerry devices. And it also worked in close association with Palm.
All these efforts to produce a Facebook based smartphone goes without saying that Facebook is considering this element as a potential future strategy. But what the company exactly wishes to achieve with it is yet unknown. If the company has decided to build its own smartphone, the company must be prepared to face heavy competition from the likes of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform which by the way already supports the Facebook on their interface thus it is still uncertain what new and different the company is actually planning to produce with a customized Facebook smartphone.
However when approached, Facebook declined to comment on the story provided by reports and provided the publication with the following statement: “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.”
HTC also appeared mealy mouthed about the same and didn’t divulge any details.