Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC is being tapped to develop a smartphone that incorporates Facebook into its core design.
The smartphone, which is codenamed "Buffy," is being created in order to run a modified version of Google's Android operating system that Facebook has reportedly tweaked.
Facebook's many apps and services will come as a part of the HTC Buffy. This development project is reportedly being overseen by Facebook CTO Bret Taylor. At a recent industry conference, Taylor was overheard saying, "Mobile devices are inherently social."
The creation of this new smartphone is said to be 18 months away from completion.
AllThingsD.com received a few quotes from a Facebook spokesman: "Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world."
HTC offered no comment to the website, however. The company previously incorporated Facebook into some of its smartphone models. Some of these devices, like the HTC Salsa and HTC ChaCha, featured a dedicated Facebook button.
AT&T also offered the ChaCha smartphone, which was renamed the Status. Inq Mobile and Motorola have also created smartphone's with full-fledged Facebook integration.
France Telecom’s Orange unit is currently developing a slew of Facebook-centered smartphones for the burgeoning markets in Europe and Africa.
Amazon is also rumored to be introducing a smartphone of its own in the future.
Facebook's user base could turn HTC's smartphone into a smashing success. AllThingsD.com spoke about Facebook's current status: "Facebook says it has 350 million active mobile users, and relationships with 475 global mobile operators. Although it is one of the most popular applications on nearly every phone for which it is available, the social network generally plays only a supporting role."
The HTC Buffy smartphone has no links to the former television show, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."