Facebook has sent a press invite for an event that is going to take place at its headquarters on April 4. The invite doesn’t say much beyond ‘Come See Our New Home on Android’, and the date, time and venue of the event. While it’s difficult to decipher if the announcement would be related to a new Facebook experience via an app on Android or about a new Android device that has Facebook at its core.
A report by Techcrunch cites sources to inform that the announcement will be related to a new HTC mobile handset running a modified version of Android featuring deep native Facebook functionality on the home screen and integrating various Facebook services deeply within the phone, along with easy access to Facebook apps.
Another report by 9To5Google had mentioned that Facebook and HTC have been working on a major marketing campaign in Southern California in the recent weeks.
While it’s not the first time that HTC and Facebook would be bringing an integrated phone, Facebook has more mobile centric products including its new Messenger that also supports voice calling, than it had earlier. Two of HTC’s Android smartphones, the HTC Chacha and HTC Salsa featured some Facebook integration in the software and an additional hardware key for quick access to Facebook. UK based mobile company, INQ, had also developed an Android phone with Facebook integration.
The news of a new fork of Android, if true, would mean that Facebook would have greater control on apps and the overall user experience of the phone.
Facebook has been mostly non committal on developing a new mobile device and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg had denied getting into the mobile device business.