Rumor: HTC to release “The Facebook Phone” later this year

HTC and Google used to have such a fantastic relationship. The first Android phone, the G1 for T-Mobile, was made by HTC. The first Nexus phone, aptly called the Nexus One, was also made by HTC. But these days … it’s safe to say that Android wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for Samsung. HTC knows that, and according to DigiTimes, they’re going to join forces with Facebook to get themselves back on top again. The story goes like this: Facebook has developed their own smartphone platform that (obviously) integrates all the services that their social network provides. HTC will build the first “Facebook Phone”, which should hit the market by the end of this year. Facebook will fund this project thanks to the billions of dollars they’re going to earn when their company goes public.

Is this rumor credible? Sure it is, just look at Amazon. They took Android, tore out all of Google’s services, replaced the user interface, and boom, say hello to the $200 Kindle Fire. Barnes and Noble did the same thing with the Nook. Will Facebook do the same thing with Android? We wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

Here are the questions that are running through our minds: Will this “Facebook Phone” have any HTC branding or will Facebook treat HTC like an ODM? Which countries will get this device first, how much will it cost, and how much will it be subsidized? HTC is one of Microsoft’s closest partners, yet so is Facebook, so who will get priority treatment when it comes to discussing things like Windows Phone licensing costs or patent royalties? Is Facebook going to be more like Apple, in that they’ll want to control the hardware and software, or will they be more like Google, by announcing a platform they’ll let others use to build devices on?

This could all be bullshit of course, we just have to wait and see.

[Via: The Verge]

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