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At last, Facebook plans an FB phone that will really slay 'em!

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

November 22, 2011 | 3 min read

Facebook, after year of thinking about it, has tapped the Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC to build a smartphone that has the social network at its core, says the website All Things D.

FB phone on the way

The phone's code name is “Buffy,” after the television vampire slayer. The phone is planned to run on a version of Android that Facebook has "tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services, as well as to support HTML5 as a platform for applications," says AllThings D quoting sources "familiar with the project".

Facebook had reportedly earlier considered one other potential phone maker partner — Korea’s Samsung before settling on HTC. The products themselves are still potentially 12 to 18 months away from the market.

Buffy has been on the cards for the past two years. Facebook would not comment on Buffy directly, but told AllThings D: “Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. 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.”

HTC also declined to comment.

All Things D said ,"Mobile is critical to Facebook’s future. And moving directly into the phone business, while fraught with challenges, may well be essential for the company."

Facebook says it has 350 million active mobile users, but generally plays only a supporting role on phones.

The social network wants to take things a step further, allowing users to upload photos directly from the picture-taking app, or to integrate Facebook contacts with the phone’s address book.

HTC introduced phones with a dedicated Facebook button, earlier this year. Inq Mobile and Motorola, have also developed phones with dedicated Facebook buttons.

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