By Stephen Schenck | November 21, 2011 7:27 PM
Facebook has a huge presence on mobile devices, whether that’s in the form of regular apps, deep integration with the phone’s user interface (as in the latest XPERIA updates), or even with a dedicated Facebook hardware button for quick access to its social tools. A new report says that’s not enough for the company, and it has its sights set much higher, with plans to eventually release a Facebook phone like we’ve never seen before.
Supposedly, after considering Samsung, it’s now looking towards HTC to develop the phone’s hardware. Called by the codename Buffy, the handset would run software that sounds along the lines of the customization job Amazon just did with the Kindle Fire keeping an Android core, but replacing many of the key features with apps of its own. Additional apps served via Facebook would leverage HTML5, as we’ve started seeing happening already with some Facebook apps.
A project of this scope would let Facebook offer a mobile platform free from Apple’s interference and without the competition of Google+. The flip-side to such a massive undertaking is that we’re likely looking at a release that could still be over a year away, assuming Buffy is real and things stay on-track. Unsurprisingly, Facebook wasn’t about to comment on its plans when asked about such a project with HTC.