Facebook-branded mobile phones ‘due from HTC’

Jan 26, 2011
Jonathan Harwood

Handsets featuring friends’ status updates and messages could be unveiled soon

Mobile phone manufacturer HTC is expected to unveil two new Facebook-branded handsets as part of a deal with the social networking site next month. According to a report in City AM, the tie-up will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
The smartphones will be the first to carry Facebook branding and will feature aspects of the social networking site - including friends' status updates and messages - on the handset's homescreen. Contacts will also be synched to the user's Facebook account. HTC handsets already come with an built-in app called Frend Stream that condenses updates from a user's social media pages onto a single page.
The new phones will apparently run a tweaked version of Google's Android OS, and senior developers at Facebook are said to be working on the project.
Last year there were claims that Facebook was building its own range of handsets and developing an operating system of its own. The company scotched those rumours but did reveal that it was pursuing several different mobile-based projects that included "deeper integrations with some manufacturers".
A spokesman for HTC told The First Post today that the company did not comment on rumour and speculation, but said that the company would be making announcements at the Barcelona trade fair.

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