Look what we have here. Facebook has just sent out invites to the media for an event at its headquarters on April 4th.
The invite has the tag line “Come See Our New Home on Android”.
It is being widely speculated that Facebook will announce its own forked version of Android, like the way Amazon has used on its Kindle tablets, but with Facebook functionality built-in. Josh Costine of TechCrunch writes:
Imagine Facebook’s integration with iOS 6, but on steroids, and built by Facebook itself. It could have a heavy reliance on Facebook’s native apps like Messenger, easy social sharing from anywhere on the phone, and more.
While Facebook may be too small and young of a company to manufacture its own devices, it’s already got many building blocks of a mobile operating system. Its recent developments around VoIP could let it develop a Phone app alternative. When possible, Facebook could route calls over its self-built open sourced Skype alternative, and use normal cellular connection if a call’s recipient isn’t equipped with the right Facebook app.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook may showcase the forked version of Android on an HTC handset, but it remains to be seen if Facebook will actually announce its rumored Facebook phone or just to unveil the forked version of Android.
We won’t have to wait too long as the event will be held on April 4th at 10:00 am Pacific Time. We doubt this would have any impact on Facebook’s relationship with Apple, I expect Facebook to continue to work with Apple to deeply integrate Facebook functionality into iOS, however it looks like the world of Android is set to get even more fragmented.