Yes. It is TRUE. Taiwanese phonemaker, HTC is building a special mobile phone for Facebook. To be released in 2012, the project is code-named ‘Buffy‘; it is predicted to have the following features:

  1. The phone will have Facebook as the social networking service built into its core and OS.
  2. It will run on a modified version of Android OS.
  3. No flash support – will support HTML 5 for running all apps, games and mobile applications

If insider news is to be believed – Facebook had originally (note the word, originally) wanted to make these phones by millions and then distribute them for free. Yes, $0.00. Facebook would make the income from running advertisements all over. But as it turns out – Facebook still doesn’t have that much money to do so. Thus, they had to incidentally, drop the novel idea… Shit! I would have loved one of those freebies!

HTC hasn’t commented on this. Thus, analysts say – the phone maybe around, 15-18 months away from hitting the market. Let’s wait and see!

Now, the million-dollar question here is – NOT when the phone would be released? But – is it worth the investment for Facebook?

  1. Do they really wish to invest time, energy, and millions of dollars into a product in a segment (smartphones) which is so heavily dominated by 5 players: Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola & RIM. Each of these are hardware manufacturers, and vendors with software to back them up. Facebook is a social networking site, not a hardware manufacturer.
  2. In the OS department, yes, it could make sense to go with Android – but the most significant question here is – Shouldn’t Facebook be spending more time and energy and money on building a better mobile applications development platform for themselves and also a better, I would say, f-commerce platform for getting thousands of advertisers/publishers on-board and earning millions out of them.
  3. Another reason is – People don’t mind accessing Facebook from their iPhones, or Galaxy or a HTC mobile phone, and simply don’t care whether they’re accessing it on iOS or Android or Windows Phone OS – as long as the damn thing works! Switching a mobile phone platform so that I can spend more time on Facebook and chatting, playing games and shopping via Facebook – ain’t a very feasible long-term idea.

Taking on a new battle in a new battlefield is never an easy task. And with the world so heavily skewed towards Apple, I don’t believe this is a very viable idea.

Anyways, let’s wait and see.

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About sghoshoxon

Born in India, educated in Moscow, worked in the UK; Subhasish speaks English, Russian, Hindi & Bengali. Marketing // Strategy // Consulting, Active Blogger, Social Media Evangelist, Apple fan; Thanks to all for reading my blog posts, with 'FewRandomRantings.Wordpress.com' reaching 74,000+ visits since inception. Follow me @nerdometer.

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