An Official Facebook Phone from HTC in 2012 or 2013?

There’s no shortage of phones with a dedicated Facebook button. The Vodafone 555 Blue is a low-cost feature phone with a Facebook button. The HTC Status is an Android OS 2.3 phone with a Facebook button. However, All Things D’s Liz Gannes and Ina Fried are running a series of articles this week about what they say is an Android-based phone directly commissioned by Facebook.

The Facebook Phone: It’s Finally Real and Its Name Is Buffy

HTC, well-known for its Android and Windows Phone smartphones, is said to have gotten the assignment to build the official Facebook phone codenamed Buffy. Gannes speculates that the phone is 12 to 18 months away from availability.

Fried believes that that while this Facebook phone is based on Android, it is not the official Google release with direct support for Google’s services. If true, this phone would be yet another fork (separate and different version) of Android. Other well-known non-Google sanctioned Android products include the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet and Amazon Kindle Fire. None of these devices with forked versions of Android have access to features like the Amazon Market or the Gmail app.

The Facebook Phone: Forking Android Offers Both Promise and Pitfalls