On again, off again – it’s the established pattern of the rumor mill that continues to suggest that Facebook is secretly working to develop a branded smartphone.
As of this writing, however, the plan to build an official Facebook smartphone is definitely on.
As reported by All Things Digital on Tuesday, the social networking giant is collaborating with Taiwanese manufacturer HTC to build an Android-powered device delivering deep integration of its services.”
The smartphone, code-named “Buffy” in honor of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is said to run a heavily modified version of Google’s Android OS, and will support HTML5. HTC reportedly beat out Samsung Electronics to land the Facebook phone deal–although HTC and rival manufacturers have developed devices with dedicated Facebook buttons, the Buffy phone will integrate social media services at a far deeper level, integrating contacts and sharing into the core of the user experience.
Facebook is not offering official comment or feedback on reports of the company’s smartphone plans, but a representative for the social networking giant did state the following: “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.”