Facebook has allied with Taiwan's HTC to build a customized smartphone powered by Google's Android mobile operating system, according to technology blog All Things Digital.
The project, code named "Buffy," is aimed at making a handset tailored for the California-based social networking platform, according to the blog, which is owned by Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
The device would "deeply integrate" Facebook, which has more than 800 million members, "at the core of its being," All Things Digital said.
A Facebook team has been working with HTC as well as trying to make deals with telecom providers for the smartphone, which it hopes to release within the next 18 months, the blog said.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment directly on the "Buffy" project to Things Digital but said: "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," the spokesman said.
HTC already builds phones with dedicated Facebook programs.
(c) 2011 AFP