Facebook branded smartphone reportedly coming mid-2013

Back in April there was an overseas report in DigiTimes that suggested Facebook and HTC were developing a “customized smartphone” that would launch sometime “in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest.” Then a month later the New York Times echoed the same partnership, but stated Facebook would launch their own smartphone in 2013, plus hired over 12 software and hardware engineers from Apple.

Today, it’s Bloomberg that has hopped on the Facebook/HTC train and declared their “people with knowledge of the matter” say we’ll see a joint smartphone be released “as soon as mid-2013.” The report also reiterated the same inclusion of former Apple employees, but this time brought a few names forward: Greg Novick, Tim Omernick and Chris Tremblay and Scott Goodson – all people who helped design popular parts of the UI experience in the iPhone. In addition to Apple employees, Facebook has reportedly hired a number of “key staffers who worked on the Palm operating system for mobile phones.”

As for the OS that will power this rumoured Facebook phone, Bloomberg notes that they “could use a modified version of Android for its smartphone,” but there was no confirmation… Perhaps there’ll be a mix of Android and webOS in the works, potentially called FBOS.

Source: Bloomberg

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