Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Facebook’s “Buffy” Phone: Yep, It’s Still Happening

Facebook continues to make progress on its “Buffy” phone project, the company’s most serious effort so far to extend its desktop platform on mobile devices.

As AllThingsD colleague Liz Gannes and I wrote in a series of articles last year, the social network is working on building its own mobile platform on top of Android, and is developing the phone hardware in conjunction with Taiwan’s HTC.

There’s a story today in Digitimes reiterating some of what we reported last year, namely that the phone is due in the second half of this year at the earliest.

What is clear from Facebook’s financials is that Facebook needs to improve its mobile position. The company’s apps are among the most downloaded and used on all the major mobile platforms. But that’s also the problem. On the mobile side, Facebook is just an app, and one that doesn’t bring in much revenue.

Facebook has laid the groundwork to move some of its desktop goodness onto HTML5, but building its own devices could help prove the concept and grow an initial market to make things interesting enough to attract developers.

In any case, we think it’s time to update our Facebook status, so if you know something about what Buffy has been up to, let us know.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus