Facebook Inc. is cooperating with HTC Corp. to launch its own smartphone in mid-2013.
Their new smartphone will come with a modified Android operating system worked on by a team of former Apple programmers. They are also working on improving the iPhone application for Facebook.
Facebook has been rumoured to be building its own smartphone for a long time, to better integrate their social media application. This is to resolve the issues Facebook Inc. has faced with the rising use of mobile devices, which does not yield profitable advertisement sales. This lack of profit from mobile advertisers has been dragging down Facebook’s shares since its initial public offering.
A Facebook phone would better integrate social networking features, an edge that Facebook wishes to have over would-be competitors Apple and Google. As a Facebook representative stated, “Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social.”
Former Apple employees working on this project are Greg Novick, who was instrumental in developing the touch-screen service, Tim Omernick and Chris Tremblay, and Scott Goodson, who created the app for stock markets.
Previously, HTC also produced two smartphones with unique features dedicated to Facebook, the HTC Status and HTC Salsa.