, the world's largest social playground with over 900 million registered users, is said to be collaborating with HTC
to build its own branded smartphone, with a target release date pegged for sometime in the middle of next year.
Earlier rumors had the two companies hoping to release a Facebook-brand smartphone device by the end of 2012, but with HTC busy reorganizing its business focus in the Android space, the decision to push back the launch was made so that the company has more time to wrap up work on other products.
Specifics are still few and far between, but there's plenty of speculation to go around. One of the prevailing assumptions is that Facebook will use a modified version of Android, particularly since it's working with HTC, which is heavily entrenched in Android's ecosystem.
Facebook phone concept art. Image Source: Nowhereelse.fr
Facebook has been somewhat aloof in talking about its plans in the mobile space, at least in terms of a smartphone.
"Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social," Facebook said in a statement. "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."
Several former Apple staffers now hold jobs at Facebook working on mobile, including Greg Novick, Tim Omernick, Chris Tremblay, and Scott Goodson.