New Facebook phone will actually be the third from HTC

A Facebook phone of some kind may finally be on the way. But it’s actually not the first.

Say what?

Facebook yesterday invited members of the media to come to its headquarter next week to “see our new home on Android.” Subsequent articles later reported that the company plans to unveil a phone made by HTC that will put Facebook’s site and apps front and center. People will see Facebook’s homepage as their home screen on the phone and Facebook’s camera and messaging apps will be the default ones for the new device.

That’s all well and good, but this will actually be the third Facebook phone that HTC has made. In 2011, the Taiwanese phone maker launched two other phones that were closely tied to the giant social network, the Status (also known as the ChaCha) and the Salsa.

Both devices featured a dedicated Facebook button. Users could update their Facebook status, post photos and share Web links on the social network by pressing the button while within particular apps. The difference between them was that the Status had a full keyboard and a tiny, by today’s standards, 2.6-inch screen, while the Salsa had no keyboard and a more standard sized 3.4-inch screen.

Neither phone seemed to make much of a dent in the market. Although HTC’s sales and market share plunged last year, it didn’t offer new versions of either model, indicating that neither was a hit.

(Photo courtesy of Absinthologue/Wikipedia.)

Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (280 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.