Facebook planning its own smartphone

Posted Mar 31, 2013 by Tim Sandle
Tech sites are reporting that Facebook will soon be announcing its own branded smartphone, to be launched in 2013 to stake a challenge in the crowded mobile market.
Screenshot of Facebook messenger
Screenshot of Facebook messenger
According to GigaOM, a cryptic announcement appeared this week from Facebook about a mobile event planned for next week that set the rumor mill in motion, with the speculation rife that Facebook will announce an Android phone equipped with full Facebook functionality. Tech Crunch hints to an insider tip that the announcement will be made on April 4th. They state:
"Facebook just invited press to an event at its headquarters on April 4th to 'Come See Our New Home On Android'”.
Forbes anticipates the announcement by wondering whether the new device will indeed be fully equipped or simply layered with some Facebook apps: "An updated application? A new UI layer for people to install? An entire phone built around Facebook?", the Forbes commentator wonders.
CNET, meanwhile, thinks that the device will be "running a version of Android tweaked to make Facebook's camera and messaging apps core to the experience."
Quartz has further information, indicating that the new Facebook handsets will be made to Taiwanese manufacturer HTC.
The idea hasn't been received with wild enthusiasm from all quarters. Mashable wonders if the idea will succeed, stating that "the market for third place is crowded".
More tech commentators are likely to weight up the success or otherwise of Facebook's new venture when the plans are relieved next week.