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Facebook phone? No, it could be something even bigger

Facebook is poised to launch something on Android this Thursday. So there is now a groundswell of rumors about what it could possibly be.

As usual, there are those who are saying that it will be the long-predicted “Facebook Phone.” But once and for all, no, Facebook will not be making hardware.

So pundits are now saying that what we could see is Facebook taking yet another stab at working with its favorite hardware partner, HTC, to offer yet another smartphone that offers deep Facebook integration via Android. We’ve seen it to a minor degree with the HTC Chacha, where Facebook got its own button. Now, the integration would probably go deeper with a new model which is rumored to be the HTC Myst.

But here’s what I think.

HTC is struggling, and Facebook really wants in on the mobile experience. Just one phone won’t be enough.

Now what’s one of HTC’s biggest strengths? It’s its HTC Sense Android interface, which is one of the best interfaces around. So what we could see coming out is not just a new phone, but a new HTC Sense, now seamlessly Facebook-ified.

Which means that, unlike before, we won’t just be seeing one HTC phone model with Facebook integration (a la Chacha). Rather, what we might be getting this Thursday is an announcement that, henceforth, all HTC phones will come with a new HTC Sense that is fully Facebooked–with Like and Share features baked into the Sense interface.

That would make more, uh, sense moving forward for both Facebook and HTC. It gives Facebook not just one gimmicky phone but rather a more serious future lineup, plus it gives HTC a distinctive advantage over other Android makers (ahem Samsung ahem).

If this doesn’t happen, then it’s just the HTC Chacha all over again. And hey, did anybody even buy the Chacha?

Art

Art

Art is a long-time editor for a number of technology publications. He is a Palanca-winning writer (he got lucky) whose day job is to try to be as serious as possible while being a management consultant and lecturer. His favorite noodles: chapchae.

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