Facebook reportedly preparing to launch a smartphone

By , Mar 28, 2013

facebook invite

Just a little bit ago, Facebook sent out press invitations for a media event next week. The keynote will take place at 10:00am PST on Thursday, April 4, at the company’s headquarters on 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park. What is it going to be talking about? Maybe its new smartphone.

Yes, I know. We’ve heard this rumor enough now that it’s almost meaningless. But it sounds like it’s for real this time. A new report says the handset, which is being built by HTC, has a 4.3-inch display, an iPhone-like Home button and is running a forked version of Android…

The invite, seen above, says “come see our new home on Android.” Obviously this could mean a lot of things, like a revamped Android app. But TechCrunch is confident that Facebook will be showing off a new Android-based OS running on an HTC phone. And 9to5Google agrees.

Here’s TechCrunch’s Josh Constine:

“One source recently told us to be on the look out for a Facebook mobile press event in early April where the social network would reveal an altered Android OS running on HTC. It’s said not to be a full-on rewrite of Android, but rather a “flavor” that will have all sorts of extra Facebook functionality built in.”

And here’s 9to5Google’s Mark Gurman:

“Follow years of rumors and speculation, Facebook is finally readying an entry into the mobile phone market. The social network is again hooking up with HTC which will design the hardware. The two companies have been working on a major marketing campaign in Southern California in recent weeks.”

Gurman cites ‘people familiar with the development of the handset’s marketing campaign,’ saying that the ads are designed to focus on the users and potential users of the phone—not on software or hardware specs. He even shares one of the tag lines: “more than just an app.”

As for the phone itself, it’s said to be reminiscent of the iPhone, with rounded corners and a large Home button at the bottom. It’ll have other ‘function’ buttons though, and a larger display. And the processor, camera and rest of the hardware are all expected to at least be competitive.

It’s not known for sure whether or not Facebook will unveil the new handset at next week’s event, but it’s believed to be very close to launching it. The question is, between Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 and Apple’s inevitable launch of the iPhone 5S, will it generate much interest?

What do you think?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • wonderboydave

    meh.

  • Lordthree

    If you’re still using Facebook you failed

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Facebook Phone, the phone that puts your life in the hands of advertisers….

    • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

      Just like Google.

      • http://twitter.com/xdracco Juan

        funny. you speak like you know something. my android (google phone) isn’t in the hand of advertisers. moron.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Keep your ignorance then. Just a tip, read Android Terms of Service and then, after that, call me moron again.

        ps. even a fu*king keyboad downloaded from the Play Store can log everything you type…

    • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

      Because your life’s in their hands. Seriously? Its your choice get real. And ads work the same across all platforms. I wish people wouldnt be so biased and look at the facts on both sides…

  • Bob

    This is going to be an epic fail.

    • http://www.facebook.com/BikenNo.9 Biken Dangol

      Don’t judge it, you don’t even know what it is going to be like nor you know about the feature.
      Total Negativity surrounds this Site.
      BE +ve . It might be better than s4 .

      • Guest

        Don’t be ignoramus, use some common sense.

        Incase you’ve been living under a rock, Facebook is well known for selling your details to advertisers/spammers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/BikenNo.9 Biken Dangol

        Who doesn’t ?? Youtube does it,google does it and obviously facebook as well!!
        But we are not talking about advertisement or about spammer.I’m talking about mobile phone.
        I can bet that you have Facebook account but your being ignorant arse still criticizing it.
        No matter what Negativity surrounds this.
        BE Positive and Stay CALM.

      • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

        Google does it, YouTube, a google product, does it! :O :DD

      • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

        Better than S4 means nothing. S4 is still shit, let’s say may it’s better than the new HTC One!

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      They should name it FacePalm..

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiefferbp Brian Kieffer

    They cannot even make the FB app half-functional. What makes them think they can make a phone that won’t be DOA?

    • http://www.facebook.com/zacksloane Zachary Sloane

      Seriously…my FB app crashed 6 times yesterday. I would never use a phone by them….

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelJDelaney Michael Jay Delaney

    Hopefully this doesn’t end as badly as the TwitterPeek.

  • Jonathan

    Is this a joke?

  • Jonathan

    Anyone remember the HTC ChaCha? The phone with the Facebook button? Huge Fail right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

      I’d completely forgot that existed. Your point: Proven

  • http://www.facebook.com/pez.granite Pez Tickles

    It can’t be worse than the Windows Phones

    • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

      I disagree. I like wp8. Only other smartphone ill get aside from my iPhones.

      • http://twitter.com/brooksbrooks104 brooks whiffen seale

        If samsung were to accually make a phone that doesn’t feel like slippery plastic dog shit, then i’d swith from my iPhone

      • pawfyd

        If you want to switch, you still have Sony and their great looking phones. Even if Samsung made nice looking phones, it would still be a shameless copycat not worth spending money on.

      • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

        I love Sony phones, for their cameras, but really dislike android.

      • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

        So then there’s this question: why doesn’t Sony make an OS theirself? They really have great looking phones, but why android?

      • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

        If Sony made a windows phone I’d buy one.

      • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

        Hmm, I wouldn’t, you know, iPhone would still be better, I dislike WP, especially 8! They should do a new, a Sony OS! But I think they don’t have the people to do so… What about asking Scott Forstall. He isn’t Jony I’ve, but until iOS 6 he brought us a pretty stable OS and I think he could get more people helping him.

        But Sony is not gonna get it anyway, so this argument is needless.

      • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

        Yes lol. Maybe they’ll make Firefox OS.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

      Really? i believe those are the fastest and most fluid phones out there. And it’s funny that everyone on an Apple blog would dislike your comment,you’d think they’d talk against Microsoft before they would Google.

  • Carlos Briones

    Lol if it is a Facebook phone it’ll fail. Facebook is irrelevant now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

      The 800 million Facebook users would disagree

  • techNo

    If it is free. I don’t mind the advertisements.

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      lol

    • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

      For corporations like Google or Facebook, the product it’s you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        How do you think ads work on apple phones? The same way they do on android phones.

      • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

        No, they are Not that annoying(at least Most of the time).

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        yea but when i’d exit an app on my old iPhone i often found ads just sitting there on the top of my springboard, that wouldn’t go away unless i resprang..

      • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

        Emm, I think then you should have restored. That’s a non-known issue… At least I Never saw OR heard Anything about this.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Totally different. Google and Facebook have build-in spyware, doesn’t matter if you install a app with ads or not. And on iOS devices, you have full control of your privacy. Android is scary because even a 3rd party app keyboard have the rights to log everything you type…even passwords… a totally alowed keylogger.

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        seriously? you can disable all the features in android that record your data, all you have to do is know where to look. in the Market you can disable adMob settings, i can completely control my GPS (in iOS you cannot) and i can even spoof all that information a lot easier than iOS. and realistically how many apps like that make it through? Google also reviews apps before their published, just like Apple. And if you remember, Apple tried to buy Google’s current ad platform. Ads work the same way on any platform, and all theses dangerous virus people talk about don’t exactly exist, thanks to preventative measures taken by the companies who host the operating systems. And if your really that worried Android also offers anti-virus (that quite frankly, you don’t need).

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        No, you can’t disable everything on Android, because most of the Google spyware are under the hood. You can see Google Chrome example.

        Just search for: Google vs Iron Browser

        And I can’t control my GPS on iOS? Can you explain that please?

        Btw, Android Notifications / Privacy settings are the worst I’ve ever seen. Most of the things you can “control” you need to open the App, while on iOS you have a system manager for that.

        And on Android, once again, you can’t block most of those things. For example, Keyboard apps allow developers to log everything I type and there’s no way to block that… and many others examples. On iOS, you have 100% control of your privacy.

        Like “Do you allow this app to use your location?” If I say no, that app just don’t use my location! on Android, there’s a lot of Apps that lack that feature because Android doesn’t have a built-in control over that… so it’s just you, and what developers want. And they’re like: “if you don’t agree… just don’t install” … which sucks a lot…

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        on an iPhone you can disable standalone GPS, but the Carrier still tracks you using GPS through their service, and Android allows you to disable that, iOS doesn’t. And for the keyboard issue, that’s something you don’t have to worry about. Google isn’t about to let a key logger on the market like that, and that’s why they too just like Apple review apps before their publicly released.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        You can disable everything on iOS.

        Go to Location Services, then System services. Like I’ve said before, on iOS you have full control of your privacy…

        On Android, you don’t because Google earn money with Ads, and all data collected. It’s the way that they make profits. Android is Google business, they make him “free” but the cost of that freedom is allowing Google track everything you do.

        Talking about carriers, off course they know where you are, by the cellular tower were you’re connected. There’s no option to disable that on iOS and on Android because it’s a “outside service”.

        “This cell number, is connected to our Tower “X”, located in “AREA Y”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        they earn money on ads and revenue from the market. They don’t track everything you do just stuff you allow them too. They collect data off of things you look up, search for, and places you tag yourself or allow where you allow the GPS to connect (When you take photos or check in on Facebook) so that ads are from your area or are centered around stuff you like. IF you don’t like it then you can turn off that feature in the Play Store. If you don’t like GPS collecting your data to show you places close by, or places you’ve been (I.E. Facebook check In or Geo Location in Photos) YOU can turn it off, or have it only work through Google Services, only through the Carrier, or through Standalone GPS. iOS 6 may make it feel like you have more controls but its stuff we’ve had since day one and I will guarantee you cant control everything. I can turn the AdMob data collection off. You cant do that with your iAds.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        You should read Android Terms of Services. Not only Google tracks you on every Android device (It’s a built-in spyware, like Chrome has too), but carriers too (with the crapware they put inside.. and many other companies).

        Turning on of off, it doesn’t matter because some data are indeed, collected by Google. It’s hidden services. Doesn’t matter if you open the Google Market or not.

        Maybe, just maybe in the future someone does to Android like other guys did with Chrome, the project called SRWare Iron. If you never heard about them, you should check their website to know what im talking about.

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        you make it seem like Google is really out to get you lol. Think about what it takes to make features work. Think about what it takes to get Google’s Glass and it’s features to work. Think about where technology is heading. Wether you like it or not more and more of your life will be broadcast public, but I will say Google isn’t trying to sell you out. They could careless about your data. they could sell it, but they even kept our information from the Federal government. Facebook on the other hand is different. Apple im unsure about.

  • mwpitt52

    How about a Galaxy Note 2 Facebook smartphone.

    • Stanley Traub

      Da fuq?

      • mwpitt52

        Sarcasm

    • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

      So… Facebook is dumb, but they are not that dumb to make a Smartphone with the worst Smartphone Company ever! HTC is a good choice!

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        HTC was great for android 3 years ago, even better fro the Old windows phone, but they keep releasing phones that are out-dated 3 months down the line.

      • http://twitter.com/Lagax_ Lagax

        Are you talking about Samsung? And years not months? So… That would be logical… But otherwise?!

  • http://twitter.com/oo7plasma Brandon Weidema

    why…

    • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

      Because fuck you. That’s why. Lol.

  • Ben

    Remember a while back Facebook began encouraging staff to switch to Android? Could be related?

    • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

      Android is open source. Android had been getting better since it’s release. It has far more support. iOS is the same. it’s old. It’s locked down. This isn’t possible on iOS. Apple wouldn’t have let it happen

      • Ben

        At which point did I state is was possible on iOS?

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        you didn’t..? defensive much

      • Ben

        What are you talking about?

  • http://gxgow.tumblr.com/ Nicolas Loots

    Didn’t Zuckerberg sat that they were not working on a Facebook phone?

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      He is a dumb, empty headed emotionless liar

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        Sound a little jealous? Talking big shit to someone you probably know nothing about. alot like to many people on this blog.

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        I read two books (and countless article) about him, so I’d like to think I know at least somethings about him..

      • http://twitter.com/xdracco Juan

        but he can buy your country if he wanted with his pocket change.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

      It’s not a Facebook phone. its an
      Android phone with a Home replacement built by Facebook.. You can find tons of Home applications on Google Play.

  • http://www.sandiegohamptoninn.com/san-diego-zoo-and-balboa-park/ Balboa Park San Diego

    Its all about business policy… but any way good idea

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    lol the lame phone will be full of SPAM ads…lol what a mess do we even need another POS crappy android device??

    • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

      Actually it’s an Android Device, with a Home app built by Facebook, apparently with no Ads.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        sucks

      • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

        lol fan boys. You dont know if it sucks at all, you haven’t seen it preform, or even score legitimate benchmark scores

  • Ofir M

    When you go to https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed you can see that they have added a phone on the right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    I can Facebook phone users getting a plethora of app recommendations based on their “like if your a 90’s kid” Facebook likes