Today, at their big Android event, Facebook unveiled Home, the company’s new foray into Android. Rather than building a new Facebook OS of sorts, Home is a family of apps that takes over your Android device and turns it into a Facebook phone. With Home, your homescreen becomes one big, photo-oriented Facebook news feed.
So, in reality, any Android phone with Facebook Home is technically a “Facebook phone.” But that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a true Facebook phone portion of the announcement.
As expected, the “Facebook Phone” is the HTC First. And though it’s not the first phone to come integrated with Facebook, it’s definitely the first to come this deeply integrated (with Facebook Home).
So, this is as close to a “Facebook Phone” as you’re going to get.
The HTC First will launch on April 12th exclusively on AT&T for $99.99. It will also come in four different colors: red, white, black, and light blue. The design is pretty minimal – a rounded rectangle with front and back cameras. It will sport a 4.3 -inch display and is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor.
Facebook Home will also work on the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II, and upcoming devices like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. Users with those devices can download Home on April 12th – the same day the HTC First hits the shelves.
Facebook says that they have already lined up partners to ship phones with Facebook Home preinstalled, including HTC, Orange, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Qualcomm, EE, ZTE, Lenovo and Alcatel One Touch.
So, about that “Facebook Phone?” Facebook wants there to be tons of different Facebook Phones out there. And by coming up with Home, letting users of various Android phones download it, and lining up partners to ship phones preloaded with it – Facebook has done just that.