Facebook invited members of the press to a special event at its corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, CA on Tuesday. The company hasn’t said what it’s announcing.
Writer and investor MG Siegler cites multiple sources while saying Facebook will announce some sort of Facebook phone, but adds the caveat that it’s unlikely to include any sort of hardware that Facebook has built. Indeed, in the past, Facebook has insisted it won’t get into the hardware business. It’s more likely that Facebook will show off some sort of Facebook OS, Siegler says, but concedes he’s far from certain about this.
The idea of Facebook working its own phone grew steam when AllThingsD reported on ‘Project Buffy’ way back in November 2011. At that time it was reported that the phone was still 12 -18 months away, which times right with Facebook’s press event. Facebook was apparently working with HTC to develop a smartphone running on a heavily customized version of Android or what we believe would be a forked version of Android.
In May 2012, Bloomberg reported that Facebook had started hiring engineers from Apple, especially some who had worked on the iPhone’s hardware. New York Times followed it up with another report stating the online social networking company had tied up with HTC to launch a phone in 2013.
The speculation of the Facebook phone is rife because of many reasons, one being the event itself. The Mark Zuckerberg-owned company does not call for a press meet or event unless it has something incredibly new to offer. Facebook’s mysterious invite for the press event, which read “Come and see what we’re building”, indicated that something new was up its sleeve.