Facebook phone back from the dead?

Facebook phone back from the dead?
Ah, the on-again off-again Facebook phone, why doth thou tease us? We’ve been seeing rumors that Facebook would make its own phone for literally years now. And we’ve been seeing rumors that HTC would build said phone for almost as long – even after the dramatic failures that were the HTC Salsa and ChaCha (for those who don’t remember, those were Android phones that had a Facebook button integrated into them). Now an “extremely reliable source” has provided Pocket-lint with evidence that confirms the existence of a true Facebook phone, and even some of the hardware specs.

The device in question is codenamed the HTC Opera UL, and it is listed as an "OEM product” for Facebook. An OEM product is one that HTC is making for another company, in much the same way HTC produced the Nexus One for Google years ago. The device posted a NenMark2 score of 38.90, and is rocking a 1.4 GHz CPU (possibly a dual-core S4?) that comes with the Adreno 305 GPU attached. It also sports a 720p high resolution screen, which is quickly becoming an industry standard. Finally, the device is running Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean), although we have no idea how forked the UI is compared to standard Android.

Pocket-lint’s source said that the phone has been delayed – previous sources have indicated a range from late this year to a mid 2013 launch, so we have to assume that at this point there aren’t any release plans plans for the foreseeable future. Facebook is in a tough spot with mobile – they want more control of their destiny and a mobile ecosystem of their own, but are likely to find themselves with less integration in iOS, Windows Phone, and possibly Android if they decide to make themselves a direct competitor. And consumer studies have suggested that there isn’t a whole lot of interest in such a phone. Still, if they want to become an industry leader along the lines of Apple, Google, and even Amazon, they will have to move into the mobile space more directly at some point.

And now we know they feel the same way, and have gotten as close as building and testing a phone. The question now is just when/if we’ll see it get released.

source: Pocket-lint via Android Central

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