There have been rumors for over a year that Facebook is trying to make its own smartphone to compete with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3, but we haven’t had much reason to believe in them until now.
Facebook sent out invitations last night to an event on April 4th at its headquarters, where the company will allegedly unveil its own smartphone that was built in partnership with HTC.
The New York Times reports that the Facebook smartphone will run a special version of Google’s Android software and put the social network front and center on a smartphone. The hardware is being handled by HTC, even though we heard last year that Facebook had hired some of Apple’s old iPhone engineers to help build it.
The April 4th Facebook event will be the third press event Facebook has held this year. People familiar with the Facebook phone project claim that when you turn the device on, it automatically displays your Facebook user home screen. Users will get Facebook Camera, Facebook Messenger, and other Facebook apps as default apps for the core functions of the phone.
With over 650 million mobile users, Facebook needs to find new ways to get people to use its services and generate ad revenue. A smartphone tied to Facebook’s social network and apps, could introduce some exciting features custom tailored to each individual based on their likes, friends, and location check-ins, but will people get tired of spending too much time in Facebook with a Facebook phone? I guess we’ll have to wait and see the phone to find out.
- Source NYT