The Bloomberg report quoting people knowledge of the matter claims the companies were working to release the device by end of this year but then pushed back the deadline to give more time to HTC to work on other devices. Facebook is reportedly working on a customised operating system for the device and has engaged a team of ex-Apple programmers to improve its iPhone app.
The report further points out that more than 50 percent of Facebook 900 million users across the network access the site via mobile devices. Facebook would like to cash in on a Facebook, with built-in social networking features to attract investors and advertisers.
“Usage is shifting to mobile, and they have not been able to monetize mobile,” Victor Anthony, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets Inc is quoted as saying. “To the extent that it’s a device you own and carry around with you at all times, and it ties into the Facebook experience, it will be beneficial. They could then put a lot of ads onto the platform.”
Facebook has declined to comment on the report published by Bloomberg. “Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social,” Facebook representative Ana Brekalo told CNET. “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.”
Of course, it’s not the first time we have heard about a Facebook phone being developed by HTC and Facebook. Back in April, HTC was rumoured to be working on a Facebook with an ‘exclusive operating system’. Another rumour surfaced in May stating Facebook phone will see the light of the day by 2013.
It’s notable HTC has already launched two Facebook phones, known as ChaCha and Salsa. Meanwhile, Facebook has upped its focus on mobile advertising. A smartphone with exclusive Facebook features certainly seems like a good idea; but will it ever become a reality? We’d had asked your opinion on the mythical Facebook phone in one of our weekly polls. Check out the poll result report here.