You know that crazy rumor that keeps bouncing around that Facebook is building its own smartphone? Well, a little more fuel was just added to the fire today.

A new report is out this afternoon claiming, once again, that the social network is pairing up with Taiwanese handset-maker HTC to develop its own mobile phone… 

Bloomberg reports:

“Facebook Inc. (FB), owner of the largest social network, is working with HTC Corp. to built its own smartphone for release as soon as mid-2013, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The companies had intended to release the device as early as the end of this year, and pushed back the timetable to give HTC more time to work on other products, said some of the people, who requested anonymity because the plans aren’t public. Facebook is also developing a modified operating system for the device and has assembled a team of former Apple Inc. (AAPL) programmers to improve its iPhone application, people said.”

As more reports of this so-called Facebook Phone come in, you have to start taking the idea a little more seriously. Especially now that a major news outlet like Bloomberg has added its weight.

And consider this, if all of the current rumors materialize, over the next 12 months we could see new smartphones (or entire mobile platforms) from Facebook, Amazon, and Firefox. Wow.

It’s also worth mentioning that Bloomberg’s note echoes previous reports that Facebook is working on improving its iPhone application. I think most will agree, that this can’t happen fast enough.

At any rate, it looks like folks are confident that a Facebook phone is coming next year. And that leaves us with one question: who wants one?

[9to5Google]