Facebook, who has been considering entering the mobile phone business for years, is reportedly working with HTC to create a Facebook branded smartphone. Although Facebook was reportedly considering several popular phone companies, the company has chosen HTC to develop the new phone. The new phone, which is code-named “Buffy,” will be designed to transition Facebook from a popular mobile app to a fully integrated phone experience.
In a recent interview, a Facebook spokesman would not comment directly on the new Facebook phone. However, he did say the following considering Facebook’s mobile strategy:
“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.”
Facebook, who has over 800 million users worldwide and 350 million active mobile users, is planning to utilize the new handset to continue building the social network’s dominance. The Android phone will come with a pre-installed Facebook client, full Facebook integration, and will probably offer a dedicated button to quickly access Facebook at any time. The long-term success of the Facebook phone will depend on whether the phone can offer a significantly more social experience than other Android phones with the Facebook app.
While Apple and Google are currently the dominant players in the mobile market, Facebook may be able to leverage its loyal user base to win over mobile customers. The estimated time frame for the Facebook phone product launch is between 12 and 18 months.