March 31st, 2013 02:10 PM
NEW YORK — Facebook has invited journalists to the unveiling of what it calls its “new home on Android.”
Next Thursday’s event will take place at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters. Facebook isn’t providing further details. There has been speculation about a “Facebook phone” for a few years. Facebook has long said it would not make its own phone. Rather, such a phone would likely integrate Facebook deeper into the phone’s software.
Citing unnamed sources, the tech blog TechCrunch says Facebook Inc. will launch a modified version of Android that embeds Facebook deeply into the operating system, on a phone made by HTC Corp.
A Facebook rival, Google Inc., makes the Android software that Facebook and HTC would be using under that scenario. Google makes the software available on an open-source basis, meaning others including rivals are free to adapt it for their needs. Amazon.com Inc. does just that in modifying Android to run its Kindle tablet computers.
More than half of Facebook’s 1.06 billion monthly users access it on a mobile device. A deeper integration would help Facebook with its mobile aspirations.