More rumors pointing at a joint effort by HTC and Facebook to build a smartphone have surfaced, this time via several anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg. It's reported that the smartphone was originally planned to arrive later this year but has been delayed until mid-2013 so HTC can perfect a specially tailored version of Android, though the sources offered no specific information.
You'll be forgiven for thinking the timing is of this rumor is perfect -- the social network is due to report its first quarterly earnings later today, following its less-than-impressive stock market floatation in May, amid continual speculation that the social giant is struggling to capitalize on the increasing number of mobile-based users.
"Usage is shifting to mobile, and they have not been able to monetize mobile," said Victor Anthony, an analyst for Topeka Capital Markets Inc. "To the extent that it's a device you own and carry around with you at all times, and it ties into the Facebook experience, it will be beneficial. They could then put a lot of ads onto the platform."
Facebook's smartphone is expected to feature deep integration of its networking site, with more options and features than current leading apps provide with Android and iOS. The latest rumor follows reports in May that Facebook recruited several Apple engineers with iPhone-related experience to create its own handset software and hardware.
"Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social," Facebook said. "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."