The notion of a phone designed by Facebook’s team of social networking aficionados has been in limbo for some time now. However, details on the software platform and hardware have finally surfaced.
To start off, the phone’s code name is “Buffy,” (yep, after Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) To be fair, the phone is actually called the HTC Buffy, indicating the promising Taiwanese manufacturer will be putting together Facebook’s official foray into the mobile market.
The other surprising detail is it will be running its rival’s operating system. As reported on AllThingsD, Buffy (the phone) will be using Google’s Android OS, which is actually a clever and bold move.
Google’s own social networking platform, Google+, is arguably the only other networking site that could match Facebook’s own functionality. It might be down in the numbers (43 million users compared to Facebook’s 800 million) but the platform is rapidly growing.
Google’s mobile platform, Android, is open source: the nature of which allows anyone to use, customise and even distribute without paying a cent to Google. Facebook and HTC will be taking this operating system and dressing it with a Facebook-esque approach to its social site.
Effectively, Facebook will be taking its competitor’s product and using it against itself.
HTC’s Buffy will be using HTML5 for application support, for titles from favourites such as Zynga, and other apps through Android and iOS’ browsers, giving the illusion the apps are native to the platform.
The choice to pick HTC as the manufacturer was so recent that the two companies have yet to detail inside specs, with Electronista claiming the project could take another 1-2 years.