Android Central

You could be forgiven for not remembering the HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa. HTC's first-gen Facebook phones failed to make much of an impact when they were released in mid-2011. But apparently that hasn't deterred the manufacturer or the social giant, as fresh rumors are emerging today of another Facebook phone in the works, slated for a 2013 launch.

UK tech blog Pocket-Lint reports via sources in HTC's native Taiwan that the phone in question currently goes by the codename "HTC Opera UL." The device is reportedly an OEM phone, meaning one manufactured by HTC specifically for Facebook (in the same way the Nexus One was HTC-manufactured but Google-branded). Recently-posted Nenamark benchmarks for the device suggest it'll run a 1.4GHz dual-core processor of some description, with an Adreno 305 GPU, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and a 720p display. It's worth noting that earlier leaks have suggested this may be a forked version of Android, rather than a Google-approved build.

Today's reports echo a story from Bloomberg which appeared a few months back. That report suggested that a "modified" version of Android would be used in a HTC-built Facebook phone that'd be released in 2013, after delays prevented a late 2012 launch.

Pocket-Lint's report says that the "Opera UL" has indeed been delayed, though it's not clear whether this refers to the original delay to 2013, or whether additional setbacks have pushed it back even further.

Is a fully-integrated Facebook experience still a major selling point for a mobile device? Let us know what you think down in the comments.

Source: Pocket-Lint

 
There are 14 comments

robzon says:

I don't see the point in Facebook-experience phone. The app is more than enough. I've never been a heavy Facebook user though - I deleted my account some time ago and created a new one just to be able to log in to sites that require it - so maybe the fb-crazy crowd will go nuts for the phone. And my guess is that the modified Android (Facedroid?) will be based on some ancient Android version (maybe even 2.3), which won't add to its charm...

On the other hand - as a all-about-android site, why do you require users to register instead of just logging in their existing Google account?

Oryan says:

Read a little closer bro. It's supposedly running 4.1.1.

I do agree with you though. I haven't even looked at Facebook in a while but it's almost necessary to have an account anymore.

l00natic71 says:

You think FB app is pretty good? I don't think you have used the Android version.

mwara244 says:

An entire phone dedicated to bloatware.

If this phone is anything like the Facebook site, that must mean like the FB site FaceBook will automatically own anything you put on the phone such as pictures, videos and anything you say will all be the intellectual property of facebook, just like the site. And Just like the site it will have hidden software that tracks every webpage you visit so FB can sell that information as well, at least on your pc you can delete all cookies like the hidden ones they put on your pc when visiting their site.

I'm guessing this phone will track every where you go, track everything you do with your phone, and send all that data back to them on your dime for the data you pay for. All to sell that information to others, just like their website.

Eff Facebook and their intrusive garbage.

DSaif says:

This will be a big fail..

Plus HTC is creating a risk of getting suspended from OHA by forking Android

piizzadude says:

I do not think so. I think if they just make the hardware and let those fantastic developers at FB do the "facedroid" part, HTC will be fine.

two more comments, I was being sarcastic about the devs at facebook, and I really like the facedroid moniker

coronaboy10 says:

No

deltatux says:

It makes no sense for Facebook to launch their own platform (even if it's based on Android). The market is already saturated with too many platforms. Facebook is already integrated in many mobile operating systems out there, it really makes no sense.

nickacs says:

Why? This is the most dumbest phone EVER! FU FB.. the root of all evil.

GigiAUT says:

I don't care about Facebook integration or a Facebook OS. Can't HTC just give us another phone with a full QWERTY keyboard and reasonable specs. That's what I wanted but the ChaCha was too low spec and the Desire Z too outdated. What's the point in the facebook integration when we already have the ability to share anything via the facebook app....which is shite to begin with.

GigiAUT says:

I don't care about Facebook integration or a Facebook OS. Can't HTC just give us another phone with a full QWERTY keyboard and reasonable specs. That's what I wanted but the ChaCha was too low spec and the Desire Z too outdated. What's the point in the facebook integration when we already have the ability to share anything via the facebook app....which is shite to begin with.

jaymars says:

I just wanna say that a job where I can suggest naming a phone "ChaCha" and still be employed is a job I need to have.

iowabeakster says:

Grandma's everywhere are struggling to make up their mind: Facebook phone, Myspace phone, or the AOL dial-up phone. Goodness Gracious, who can keep up with techno-trends these days!

diskoman69 says:

This is a non-starter. Why would someone want to buy this phone when they can just get an Android phone and use the FB app? Why would they want to lose access to the Google Play?