Facebook has just sent out press invites for an event at their Menlo Park HQ on Thursday, April 4th. The invites, in true Facebook fashion, are pretty vague. All they say is “Come See Our New Home on Android.”
Is Facebook working on a new Android-based OS? Is this about that long-rumored Facebook phone?
Well, yes and yes, according to one report.
TechCrunch is reporting that Facebook will unveil a modified Android OS built to heavily incorporate Facebook, and that it may come to a new HTC device.
This is not a totally new OS we’re talking about here. Apparently, it will simply be an Android tweak that has a bunch of Facebook functionality. TechCrunch describes it as “Facebook’s integration with iOS 6, but on steroids.”
The report indicates that it could be called “Facebook Home,” which you may be able to guess would sport a Facebook-themed home screen. Maybe your news feed stories built in, maybe your messages, maybe any other aspect of Facebook that you want to greet you in the morning.
Is this that mythical Facebook Phone that we’ve been hearing about off and on for a couple of years? You may remember that rumors emerged back in April of 2012 that Facebook and HTC were working to develop a Facebook Phone. Similar reports emerged a few months later, stating that Facebook would debut a modified Android OS centered around their service on an HTC handset.
That report suggested such a product would surface mid-2013. Hm.
But the reports of a possible Facebook phone have been shut down at every turn, even by CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself. Speaking just two months ago, here’s what he had to say about it:
“We’re not going to build a phone. It’s not the right strategy for us to build one integrated system…Let’s say we sell 10 million units — that would be 1 percent of users. Who cares for us?”
This newest report sure sounds a lot like that mythical Facebook Phone. Maybe not the Facebook Phone of yore, but at least a device that runs a Facebook-centric OS. We’ll see what goes down next Thursday.