Facebook is planning yet another collaboration with HTC, Bloomberg reports. The new love child is supposed to see the light of day in mid-2013.
This would not be the first time Facebook and HTC collaborate. Salsa and Cha-Cha, two HTC smartphones from 2011, had a dedicated Facebook button on the front. However, this time it will be a bit more serious, as the smartphone will be branded as Facebook, and not as HTC.
Some say it would be more logical for Facebook to ally with Nokia, the main manufacturer of Windows 7 and in the future Windows 8 smartphones, given that Microsoft is involved with both these companies. However, if Facebook decides to use a custom OS based on Android, it would make the things a bit easier for people who want to personalize the operating system even more. To make things even more confusing, Bloomberg reports that Facebook assembled a team comprising both Apple and Palm engineers to create the custom OS. I, for one, am not sure how much could Facebook personalize an OS, unless it decides to create something like Samsung’s Bada.
Hopefully, the social network will create something that sets it apart from the rest of the world, and not just another disappointment, like HTC ChaCha was. Not only the software, but also the hardware would help it stand out. The Bloomberg report does not include details as to what hardware will be used, but considering that the launch date is sometime next summer, anything less than a quad-core CPU paired up with 1 or 2GB of RAM would not be satisfactory. No, using this social network on a smartphone is not that resource-demanding, but still, people are expecting a powerful device.
The fact that Facebook is intensively used by mobile users cannot be disputed. However, using the iOS or Android Facebook app is enough for most people, and a phone built around the social network would be redundant for many. I wonder if the Facebook smarphone is somehow a response to Google’s continuous avalanche of Nexus products. The next question is: will the Facebook phone be HTC’s champion against Samsung’s Galaxy S IV or will the company create a properly branded device for that fight? To find out the answer, we have to wait till next summer, when the Facebook phone will be brought to light.