Question: How do you attract a key youth, mobile-first demographic to your social network and get them to increase engagement? Answer: Partner with an OEM handset manufacturer to create a powerful yet reasonably priced branded device with all your software already on board. Facebook looks to be readying a follow-up to the HTC Status, a mid-market smartphone it released with a dedicated Facebook button in 2011, and a new leak shows off its specs.
Over at Unwired View, noted leakster Evleaks claims to have obtained a recent list of HTC Facebook phone specs (from a source with a proven track record, unlike another recent Evleaks discovery), and they confirm earlier leaks on the same, with some improvements for the better. The HTC Facebook phone, codenamed the “Myst,” will reportedly have a 1.5GHz dual-core MSM8960 SoC processor from Qualcomm, along with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which isn’t expandable. It’ll have a 5 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.6 megapixel front-facing shooter, if the stats are correct, and will run Jelly Bean 4.1.2.
The screen won’t be overly massive at 4.3 inches, with 720p resolution and 320PPI pixel density, but it should be a good-looking device regardless, with near-Retina resolution. That’s good for showing off Facebook’s upcoming News Feed redesign, which is hitting mobile platforms as well as the desktop over the course of the coming months.
The HTC/Facebook collab should ship in the U.S. by sometime this spring, according to Unwired View, complete with Facebook software onboard, including the app for the network itself, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. It’s not like the apps aren’t popular enough already, but a relatively inexpensive device with the software already onboard is a way for Facebook to target directly the market where it needs to start seeing more growth. The handset doesn’t seem to be too far below top-tier devices based on these specs (with the exception of that camera, which could use HTC’s Ultrapixel tech to still deliver solid photos), so if it’s priced right it could be a boon for both Facebook and HTC.