Over the past couple of years we’ve heard plenty of rumors surrounding a possible “Facebook phone”. And they’ve not come to anything, yet. Sure, we had the daftly named HTC Cha Cha with a special Facebook button, but that’s about it. Plus, Zuckerburg went on record to say that the company wasn’t entering the hardware business. So, the signs aren’t necessarily positive for an upcoming launch on face value. Personally, I’d put the idea of a Facebook phone out of my mind completely until I saw the press release for a special Facebook/Android event happening on April 4th.
Sure, the invitation could mean anything. Perhaps even deeper integration for Facebook within Android device in general. However, (as reported by iDB), TechCrunch and 9to5Google are both absolutely convinced that an HTC device running a tweaked version of Android will be announced next week at the event at 1 Hacker Way.
“One source recently told us to be on the look out for a Facebook mobile press event in early April where the social network would reveal an altered Android OS running on HTC. It’s said not to be a full-on rewrite of Android, but rather a “flavor” that will have all sorts of extra Facebook functionality built in.”
9to5Google‘s Mark Gurman agreed with virtually the same information. “The social network is again hooking up with HTC which will design the hardware.” Since Facebook had its main event a few weeks back, it’s unlikely that the company would have a major press event like this unless something completely new was being announced. In this case: an Android-running HTC phone with a custom Facebook skin/bloatware.
The design itself is supposed to look something like an iPhone, with a rounded home button. But – unlike Apple’s smartphone, it’s flanked by two capacitive buttons on either side. I’d be very surprised if it was a high end device. If aiming at the Facebook addicts, we’re typically looking at a socially driven youth who’s parents won’t want to cough up hundreds of dollars on a premium device. A 4.3-inch device in the same mold as the Galaxy SIII mini, or HTC 8S looks to be on the cards.