One of those rumours that emerges every now and again is that Facebook is working on a specialised smartphone. The latest one was said to be in development last year and was codenamed Buffy, which the company was developing in partnership with technology manufacturer HTC. However it seems that these rumours will come to an end as the company prepares to release its first specialised smartphone in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest.
Digitimes is now reporting that this customised smartphone is being developed by HTC and is aiming for a Q3 release, according to industry insiders. The smartphone will run on a modified version of Android, but is naturally expected to make the social network the centre of its experience. The platform will be exclusive to Facebook and will enable and integrate all functions available on the social networking site.
HTC used to develop smartphone with Google when they released their first generation smartphones, the Nexus One. However, Google then switched over to Samsung as its primary production partner for the launch of its second and third own-brand smartphones.
The development is being led by Facebook's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Bret Taylor and the site is in a stronger position with regards to mobile than it was last year when the project was first announced. For one, the site has access to a number of different apps and features thanks to its open graph service. Also the purchase of Instagram would helps the site develop its mobile strategy and even improve its native mobile site.
Back in November, a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD that:
"Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We're working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware, manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world"
This philosophy hasn't changed over the last few months and Facebook mobile strategy is increasing in importance, for both smartphone apps on iOS and Android as well as the development of their own smartphone brand.