Facebook is reportedly working with handset vendor HTC to develop a branded smartphone.
The handset, code-named "Buffy", will sport a version of the Android operating system and will be designed to integrate with the social networking platform, according to a series of reports from AllThingsD.
The web site said that according to unnamed sources the device could arrive late next year or early 2013. The report claimed that in addition to Facebook integration, the handset will support HTML5-based applications.
Facebook currently produces native applications for the iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms, and Facebook information is also integrated into handsets running the Windows Phone Mango platform.
The Buffy handset would not be the first device to make heavy use of social networking services. Microsoft made messaging and social networking a key component of its ill-fated Kin handset.
Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi told V3 that thus far HTC's Facebook-focused handsets have not performed well, particularly in Europe. The analyst said that in addition to improving user experience, Buffy would need to competitively priced.
"If the rumoured phone has changed the Android experience to make it a Facebook experience they will certainly appeal to hard-core Facebook users," Milanesi said.
However, she added that the devices would also have to offer everything else that users have come to expect from new Android devices.
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