By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 30, 2013 02:14 PM EDT
The tech world is always buzzing with leaks, rumors and speculation, but one rumor just won't die: the Facebook phone.
Facebook phone rumors go as far back as 2010. Now, speculation that social networking giant Facebook is developing its own smartphone is spreading like wildfire yet again.
Rumors about Facebook's hardware plans exploded again after the company sent out press invitation late Thursday, March 28, to a press event on Apr. 4 at its Menlo Park, Calif. Headquarters.
"Come See Our New Home on Android," the press invite states simply, sparking a new round of speculation. Shortly after the invitations went out, a number of news sites were already buzzing about Facebook's plans to develop an Android-based smartphone.
Facebook executives seem to love dancing around the idea of a smartphone. For years the tech world jumped over reports, denials, new reports, some more denials. The new round of speculation now comes after only two months since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself categorically denied such plans. At this point, the purported Facebook phone is a true myth.
Back in January, a Facebook announcement of a press conference similarly sparked widespread speculation regarding a new smartphone. Facebook actually unveiled its Graph Search tool at the event in question, but the Facebook phone rumor seems to have more lives than a cat.
A "new home on Android" does indeed seem undeniably smartphone-related, but it doesn't necessarily mean an actual Facebook phone. The company will most likely unveil something more practical, such as a way for handset makers to tweak the Android OS for deeper Facebook integration. Something along the lines of a highly-integrated Facebook experience, with Messenger, Poke and all of Facebook's apps featured front and center.
In other words, Android should boast at least some iOS-like integration features for syncing contacts, sharing seamlessly, and other such options. While this may be a welcome change for Facebook enthusiasts, it may well be far from an actual Facebook phone.
Whatever Facebook has planned, it seems that whenever the social network announces a press conference the first thought is the never-ending Facebook phone rumor. All in all, the Apr. 4 press conference is just around the corner, which means rumors will soon die down at least for a while. One question, however, still lingers: does anyone really want a Facebook phone?
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