HTC Prepping Pair of Android-Based Facebook Phones? [Update]

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Earlier this month we reported that INQ had two “Facebook phones” in the works, including the Cloud Touch, both running Android and featuring heavy integration with the social networking site. Now HTC is rumored to be developing the same sort of thing, with two of its own Facebook models planned for release.

This news comes courtesy of London-based financial news site City A.M., which successfully broke the news of the Nexus S last fall. The site reports that the HTC-manufactured Android phones will definitely feature Facebook branding; we had been unsure with the INQ phones whether or not they would be sold under the Facebook label.

The new smartphones are said to run a modified version of Android, bringing your friends’ status updates to the home screen, in what sounds like it could be a very Live Tile-esque implementation. Since we are dealing with phones, after all, look for voice call integration with your Friends list, in addition to the messaging and email options.

Plenty of questions remain about this pair, particularly what will be the difference between the two? One model may be a QWERTY slider, certainly a reasonable option considering all the text-entry a dedicated Facebook user will be engaging in. We should know more shortly, as City A.M. believes that HTC and Facebook will announce the phones next month at the Mobile World Congress.

Update: BGR has heard from a reader who claims to have been part of a focus group being tapped for input on one of these Facebook phones.

The phones will supposedly be very cloud-focused, with minimal local storage. The camera, for instance, is said to transfer photos to Facebook’s servers automatically after they’re taken.

If you were worried about the privacy implications of Facebook already, get out your tin foil hat, as the tipster reports that these Facebook phones will have an always-on GPS to update the service with your current location. Facebook will use that information to update your friends and provide coupons to businesses in your immediate vicinity.

Source: City A.M., BGR

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!