January 26, 2011 | by Lars Aronsson
Now, this is interesting. According to unnamed sources London newspaper CityAM has been in contact with, HTC will launch two Facebook-branded phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
The devices are said to run a tweaked version of Android, and they will support Facebook voice calls and instant messages. Furthermore, the supposed Facebook Phones will apparently rock the same blue color scheme as the social network behemoth, and the Facebook news feed along with messages will be pushed right to the homescreens. To me, that sounds like the way a regular Facebook widget works, but the integration will likely go much deeper than what is available on current HTC Sense devices.
The sources state that Facebook’s Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos are thought to be behind the launch. While these rumors should be taken with a grain of salt at this point, CityAM’s Nexus 2 story did indeed turn out to be true.
Do you think we’ll see a pair of Facebook Phones from HTC in a couple of weeks? Is an Android phone with tight Facebook integration something you would be interested in?
Update 27 January, 2011: Facebook’s head of business development, Dan Rose, made this statement: “This is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs (application programming interfaces) and integrated them into their device in an interesting way. The rumours around there being something more to this HTC device are overblown.” When asked whether or not the HTC phones would be Facebook-branded, he said: “No, there’s no such thing as a Facebook phone.”