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Rumor: Facebook developing "Buffy" phone with HTC

Facebook is working with a well known mobile phone maker to develop a device that will give users a smartphone with some tightly integrated Facebook features. At least that's the word over at AllThingsD.com, which uses unnamed sources for its report on the upcoming Facebook phone. The social networking service has partnered with HTC to create an Android-based smartphone that will be modified to add additional Facebook features. The story adds that the smartphone will also have an HTML5-based service for delivering applications.

The report claims that the project has the code name "Buffy" (and yes, it's named after the movie and TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer). However the agreement between HTC and Facebook was only recently signed so the phone itself is likely to take a while to develop and released, perhaps as long as 18 months from now.

While there have been other smartphones released that have added a Facebook button to allow users to quickly upload content to their Facebook account, the "Buffy" phone will apparently have lots of extra features, as yet unknown, to give owners more ways to interact with their Facebook account.

In a related story, AllThingsD.com reports that Facebook's decision to use Android as the OS basis for the phone means that it will be using a product from Google, one of the company's biggest rivals. Google has recently launched its own social networking service, Google+, which many regard as perhaps the biggest threat to Facebook since it launched.

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