Rumor: HTC working on Facebook phone

The rumor mill is abuzz with news that HTC is developing a phone for Facebook, but we're not so sure.

Bonnie Cha Former Editor
Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.
Bonnie Cha
2 min read
HTC's Friend Stream app on the Aria already integrates Facebook and Twitter. HTC

The rumor dates back to mid-September, but a new report has reignited speculation that Facebook is working on a branded smartphone, and it could be with HTC.

According to City A.M., HTC will introduce two Facebook-branded smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2011. It's said that the high-end devices will run a tweaked version of Android and have the user's Facebook feed displayed on the home screen.

The handsets, which are being compared with Google's Nexus series, will also feature Facebook branding and colors. Interestingly, the article points to a mock-up created by HTC, but as far as we can tell, there is no image associated with the story.

When asked about the rumors, HTC America's Senior Public Relations Manager Keith Nowak told CNET that the company does not comment on rumors or future devices.

I, for one, am rather skeptical about this whole thing. Though Facebook has said that it will focus on mobile in 2011, I think for now its main focus will be on continuing to improve and enhance its mobile app for all platforms. Also, HTC already has good Facebook integration on its phones through its HTC Sense interface and Friend Stream widget, so is it worth it to take a risk on a rather niche product?

Who knows, though, maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we'll find out at MWC, which starts February 14. We'll be making the trek to Barcelona, Spain, to report on all the news, so definitely stay tuned. So far, HTC has not announced any press conferences, but in the past, the company has introduced new products at the international wireless show.

In the meantime, I'm curious: how many of you would be interested in a Facebook-branded smartphone?