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Facebook partners with HTC on smartphone - report

Modified Android device will be built for deep integration with Facebook services

Facebook is partnering with HTC to develop a new Android-based smartphone, AllThingsD reports.

Sources close to the project claim that HTC was chosen as production partner over Samsung, and that the phone is still 12 to 18 months away from release.

The device - codenamed "Buffy" - will run a version of the Android OS modified to fully integrate Facebook's services. It will also be designed to support HTML5 as the development platform for its applications.

Both HTC and Facebook declined to comment on "Buffy", but Facebook did offer a broad overview of its mobile strategy.

"We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social," a spokesman said. "We're working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world."

Facebook has considered mobile as a vital part of its future strategy for some time, but the 350 million MAUs who access its social network do so via apps and a network of 475 mobile operators worldwide.

The HTC phone would offer more direct control over the evolution of Facebook as a mobile platform, and remove barriers in the relationship with its customers.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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