The rumblings of a Facebook phone are back. According to sources speaking to Bloomberg, Facebook is working with HTC on a new smartphone that could be released as early as mid-2013. Some of the sources add that Facebook and HTC had planned to launch the new handset by the end of 2012, but the debut was reportedly pushed back so that HTC's employees could work on other products. Bloomberg's sources also claim that Facebook is prepping a "modified operating system" for use on the phone, which may be a tweaked version of Android, and that the device will feature deep integration of Facebook features. It's also rumored that Facebook has gathered a group of former Apple programmers to improve its iPhone app.
Rumors of the mythical "Facebook phone" have been floating around for some time now, but so far the closest we've come to seeing such a device hit the U.S. is the HTC Status with its dedicated Facebook key. This new report seems to line up well with a couple of the previous rumors, which claimed that Facebook and HTC were working on a device with deep Facebook integration and a heavily modified version of Android. While this news is obviously still unconfirmed at this point, the whispers of a possible HTC/Facebook-built handset definitely seem to be getting louder. And although we're still a ways off from the phone's purported mid-2013 debut, considering how frequently Facebook phone rumors appear, I wouldn't be surprised if we another report popped up before then. Any of you think you'd be interested in a phone like the one described in today's report?