For some time now there has been a rumor circulating the tech world that Facebook wants to launch its own smartphone.

Yesterday AllThingsD announced “After years of considering how to best get into the phone business, Facebook has tapped Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC to build a smartphone that has the social network integrated at the core of its being.

Code-named “Buffy,” after the television vampire slayer, the phone is planned to run on a modified version of Android that Facebook has tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services, as well as to support HTML5 as a platform for applications, according to sources familiar with the project.”

“A spokesman for Facebook declined to comment on Buffy directly, but told AllThingsD: “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.”

The spokesman for Facebook made it perfectly clear Facebook is working across the entire mobile industry. Not just a mobile app as previously mentioned in the past.

By Facebook launching its own smartphoneBuffy” would be a direct competitor to Google Android and the iPhone.

AllThingsD reported today in “the third in a series of posts this week about the Facebook phone….About a year and a half ago, a Facebook mobile special ops team was formed, with its own building separate from the rest of the company…The team working on Slayer/Buffy included its leader, Chamath Palihapitiya, as well as Firefox founder and Facebook iPhone app creator Joe Hewitt, Google Chrome OS creator Matt Papakipos, biz dev exec Priti Choksi, developer Zhen Fang and designer Matt Cahill.

This was an exclusive and handpicked group, which generated awkwardness within Facebook’s flat organization.”

Since then, “the team scaled back and looked at building on top of Android. Soon many of them ended up quitting Facebook altogether.

Palihapitiya, for instance, founded his own venture capital firm in June, while Hewitt left Facebook in May to work on his own projects.

With Facebook having over 350 million mobile users it is clear Facebook wants to be apart of the mobile industry, which is the wave of the future.

With all the important players needed to create the perfect “social smartphone” of the future one wouldn’t be surprised if Buffy will also offer a Skype video chat feature all at an affordable price.


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