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Facebook phone announcement expected soon

Facebook is to announce a joint venture with handset maker HTC to capitalise on the increased use of social networking on mobile devices

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Facebook is expected to announce a joint venture with handset maker HTC to capitalise on the increased use of social...

networking on mobile devices.

Around 680 million of Facebook’s 1 billion monthly users are believed to access the social network using mobile phones.

In January, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told investors: “The next thing we're going to do is get really good at building new mobile-first experiences." Zuckerberg said that would be the focus for Facebook in 2013.

Zuckerberg also claimed that 23% of app time in the US is spent on Facebook.

“Facebook is a mobile company. Mobile is a perfect device for Facebook. It allows us to reach more people,” Zuckerberg said.

In addition to a specially designed handset, Facebook and HTC are expected to announce software to customise any Android phone for use with the social network.

The Facebook Home software will enable Android users to customise a range of functions, from the camera to the home screen, around social networking.

The HTC and Facebook plans have been gleaned from a leak of the software seen by the Android Police website, according to the Guardian.

The software is likely to be demonstrated on a device called Myst, specially made by HTC as the result of a two-year development project with Facebook.

From recently filed patent applications, the Facebook phone is expected to feature enhanced caller identification to include location and other social networking information.

Some patent applications even propose ranking smartphone contact entries according to their “social proximity” to the user.

The Myst is expected to have a 5 megapixel resolution rear lens for photos and a front-facing camera of 1.6 megapixels for video calls, basic storage of 16GB, a 4.3 inch screen and some 4G capability.

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