A tweet from known tech tipster @evleaks reveals what could be the first look at the Facebook phone, which many are expecting to see at the company's Thursday event in Menlo Park, Calif. The project, previously called "Myst," "Opera" and even "Buffy" at one point, now appears to be called the HTC First.
Although not officially confirmed, the images appear to match a previous leak by Android Police that said the phone will feature a 4.3-inch, 720p screen. The Android Police report also mentioned that the phone will feature a dual-core processor and a five-megapixel camera.
As for software, the phone will likely run a tweaked version of the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, tentatively known as Facebook Home. The software is expected to incorporate the user’s Facebook News Feed, messages and notifications directly into the home screen. Facebook experimentation with VoIP could even allow the software to place calls with a Skype-like program without the use of cell service.
Then @evleaks followed with a post on Weibo that showed the phone in three additional colors: red, white and sky blue. If all of these leaks turn out to be true, it seems likely that Facebook and HTC intend this to be a very inexpensive phone, perhaps one targeted toward younger Facebook users. Others have wondered if Facebook would give the device away for free as a loss leader to drive people to the Facebook Home app, providing additional advertising revenue for the social network.
Of course, there is a chance this phone won’t even show its face at Thursday’s event. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that “it wouldn’t really make much sense” for Facebook to move into hardware. Additionally, Android Police’s analysis of the Facebook Home ROM shows that the app can launch from other Android devices, indicating that it will probably be available through the Play Store. Thursday’s event could focus primarily on the app, with HTC promoting the "First" at a separate event.
Here is the original tweet from @evleaks:
HTC first, 2013 twitter.com/evleaks/status…
— @evleaks (@evleaks) April 2, 2013
What do you think about the HTC First? Are you looking forward to the announcement at tomorrow's Facebook event?