Facebook to launch first mobile phone

HTC will unveil two new Facebook branded mobile phones next month, City A.M. has learned.

The Taiwanese manufacturer will launch an official tie-up with Mark Zuckerberg’s $50bn (£31.6bn) social network at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

The high-end smartphones will be the first to bear the Facebook branding and colours. It could look similar to the mock-up pictured right, also created by HTC.

It is understood the phones will run on a tweaked version of Google’s Android operating system and will prominently display users’ Facebook messages and news feed on the home screen.

Other areas of integration expected include being able to call or email friends from information stored on their Facebook page.

Facebook has aggressively pushed mobile versions of its social network and industry insiders see this as an attempt to consolidate its position as the world’s leading social network.

Facebook’s Joe Hewitt (who worked on the Firefox web browser) and Matthew Papakipos (a leading member of the Google Chrome browser team) are thought to be behind the launch.

It is unclear if the phone will be tied to a single carrier in the UK.

The phone will draw comparisons to Google’s Nexus range, also manufactured by HTC. City A.M. exclusively revealed the new version of the phone, the Nexus S, would be sold in the UK through an exclusive deal with Carphone Warehouse.

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