We’d understand if you’re skeptical — we are too — and we likely could have written this same title a year ago with no ill effects, but here we are.
According to sources at Pocket-lint, not only is HTC building the Facebook phone — yes, the phone that Zuckerberg says “wouldn’t make much sense” — but it’s in the testing phase, and even has a name. A Qualcomm Snapdragon S4-powered 1.4Ghz dual-core device showed up on the benchmark score site Nenamark last week with the codenamed OperaUL, and it seems that this would be the HTC-built Facebook phone that doesn’t really exist.
The device in question has a 1280×720 resolution screen and an Adreno 305 GPU, which is a lesser version of the Adreno 320 we see in the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC. It’s also running Android 4.1.1 at the moment, but with a rumoured release date of mid-2013, you can bet that will change.
It’s also interesting, based on the tepid success of the HTC Status/ChaCha, why Facebook is still taking this phone thing so seriously. While Apple and Samsung have both shown there is money to be made in the industry, most other OEMs would tersely reprimand the young social networking company from even dreaming of entering such a saturated market. Indeed, even Motorola, under the auspices of Google, has yet to turn a profit from its smartphone division.
Whether Facebook would release a phone with these specs in six months from now, when such numbers would be positively entry level, remains to be seen. More interesting is that idea that Facebook plans to branch off Android like Amazon does, filling its own app store with content from its new mobile-focused App Center.
According to the source, the phone was originally intended for release late this year, but for numerous reasons has been delayed until next year to be more competitive.