Facebook Appears Set to Debut iPhone Competitor Built on Android on April 4

facebookinviteFacebook today invited members of the press to an Android-related event on April 4, and TechCrunch reports that the event will likely see the debut of the long-rumored Facebook phone. According to reports, the device would be an HTC handset running a Facebook-modified version of Android.

If true, the move would turn Facebook into an Amazon-style competitor in the smartphone market for Apple, as Amazon has heavily modified Android for its own Kindle Fire tablet devices.

There have been persistent rumors of Facebook working on a smartphone, with Bloomberg reporting in 2010 that the phone would be based on a "stripped-down" version of Android. Last year, the New York Times reported that Facebook was hiring former Apple iPhone and iPad engineers to work on a "Facebook phone."

TechCrunch highlights one of the key reasons why Facebook would want to create a smartphone device of its own:

With deeper control of a modified operating system would come huge opportunities to collect data on its users. Facebook knows that who you SMS and call are important indicators of who your closest friends are. Its own version of Android could give it that info, which could be used to refine everything from what content you’re shown in the news feed to which friends faces are used in ads you see.

Facebook currently has two of the more popular free apps in the App Store with Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Recently, the company has updated its main Facebook app to add free VoIP calling in a number of countries.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
96 months ago
Facebook can't even get their smartphone app right, why are they making a smartphone?

Next up... Angry Birds phone.
Score: 94 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago
Too late

People are already becoming restless and wanting to leave. The only reason people are still on Facebook is because everyone else is a member. This would have sold a ton around 2008-2009.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago

At least it's American. I'm all for people using Amazon or Facebook products over Korean and Taiwanese products from Samsung, LG, and HTC.


It's being built by HTC.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago

Facebook can't even get their smartphone app right, why are they making a smartphone?

Next up... Angry Birds phone.

Introducing FacePalm...

Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago
A "stripped-down version of Android" in the same vain as Amazon's? No thanks.

Even worse, Facebook will be collecting a lot of data from its phone users, which is really concerning.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago
this is such a joke they should just host the debut on April 1
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Wednesday May 1, 2019 9:51 am PDT by
Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the ...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...