updated 07:05 am EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
HTC and Facebook renew smartphone partnership
HTC is said to be co-developing a new smartphone with Facebook, according to Digitimes. The Taiwanese handset maker has previously launched handsets with tighter than usual Facebook integration with its Salsa and Chacha devices. The new smartphone is said to leverage Android, but develop a platform built exclusively around Facebook.
Digitimes’ sources claim that the new handset won’t be ready for launch until the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest. HTC is keen to develop a co-branded device to help raise its profile in the same way that Samsung has benefitted from being tapped to replace HTC for the development of Google co-branded devices. Facebook is also said to be keen to widen its revenue channels after going public and the development of a unique smartphone platform could be part of those plans.
Both companies have recently been experiencing difficulties and a renewed tie-up could be of mutual benefit. HTC is coming off the back of two rapidly declining quarters, though is showing some signs of recovery following the launch of its well-received One-series line of smartphones. Facebook suffered a minor setback this week ahead of its IPO reporting a decline in profits and operating income, reinforcing suspicions that it is having difficulties monetizing its vast user base. A headlining smartphone built around Facebook could help boost confidence in both companies.