Rumor: HTC’s Buffy is The Facebook Phone
The Facebook Phone. Not a Facebook Phone, but the Facebook Phone. This mythical beast is one we’ve been hearing about for many, many months now – but it’s managed to stay invisible up until now. For a long time, many rumors have come up talking about a Facebook phone, but they all went as fast as they came. Facebook even issued an official denial at one point.
But, just like the Apple phone, or the Amazon tablet, this is one rumor that simply refuses to go away forever (and maybe that’s for good reason, seeing as how the other two ‘persistent’ rumors we mentioned turned into real products eventually). Like with the iPhone, it probably will be a mystery whether Facebook was actually working on a phone when the first rumor came through, or the company itself perhaps got a little bit inspired by all the speculation.
Because it looks like Facebook is indeed working on a phone, at least according to AllThingsD, which promises us an entire week of posts dedicated to this device. Which, by the way, is made by HTC and has the codename Buffy. Just perfect, right? (We are however wondering just who it’s meant to slay.)
Buffy will come with a heavily tweaked version of Android (oh, where have we heard that before, Amazon?), that will run the HTML5 apps that Facebook is so fond of these days. The phone will naturally integrate Facebook throughout its UI, reportedly bringing friends and social activities deep into the operating system, at a level previously unseen – not even on the ‘unofficial’ Facebook phones, such as the INQ Cloud Touch, HTC ChaCha, HTC Salsa, Motorola MotoKey Social, Vodafone 555 Blue, and so on.
Apparently, HTC was only recently chosen by the social network, and Samsung was also a contender. The recent choice may mean that Buffy is more than a year out at this point (so yeah, get ready for dozens of more rumors on the matter over the next year or two). The project is led by Facebook CTO Bret Taylor.
Now why would Facebook do this? Well, it recognizes that mobile is the future (it’s actually the present too), and it doesn’t want to depend on Apple and Google to make its ideas available in the mobile world. Let’s also not forget that Apple made Twitter its social partner recently, and Google has launched Facebook competitor Google+ in the past few months, so Zuckerberg’s company may view both mobile giants as anything but close friends right now. We’ll let you know how this (further) develops.