Analysts: Facebook phone set to launch tomorrow

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New handset rumoured to be called HTC First featuring extensive Facebook integration

A new ‘Facebook phone’ is set to launch tomorrow, manufactured by HTC and running on Android, according to online rumours and analysts.

The social networking company has arranged a US event, which international tech websites claim will be the launch of the new ‘HTC First’ – an Android phone with ‘deep Facebook integration’.

Should the rumours be true, it would not be the first time HTC and Facebook have teamed up to launch handsets with the HTC Salsa and ChaCha, both launched in 2011, featuring a physical Facebook button on the front of the handset.

HTC and Facebook both refused to comment on the speculation. The event is being promoted by Facebook as the announcement of its ‘new home on Android’.

A statement from analyst firm Analysis Mason confirmed it believed the launch was a new handset and added Facebook was eager to increase its daily app usage by becoming the ‘default communications platform’.

“Telephony and messaging remain the most used applications on smartphones. Facebook IM and Facebook’s recently launched VoIP feature are examples of the company’s effort in the mobile communications space,” the statement said.

According to Analysis Mason company 14 per cent of smartphone users use Facebook Messenger.

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