Rumor Mill: HTC's Facebook phone will preload Instagram, Messenger

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly teaming with manufacturer HTC on a new social networking-themed smartphone that pre-installs a number of popular Facebook applications.

Based on specifications obtained by Unwired View, the forthcoming device--codenamed the HTC Myst #UL--runs Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.1.2 and features a 4.3-inch, 720p display with 320PPI pixel density, as well as dual 5MP/1.6MP cameras. The Myst also boasts a 1.5GHz dual-core MSM8960 SoC processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which isn't expandable.

In addition to Facebook's flagship Android app, the Myst will preload apps including photo-sharing service Instagram and Messenger, a standalone messaging tool designed to steer users away from conventional operator SMS services. 

Facebook and HTC previously teamed for the Status, a mid-range smartphone with a dedicated Facebook button. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) launched the Status in mid-2011 and is expected to support the Myst when it rolls out later this year.

Facebook now boasts more than 680 million mobile monthly active users in all. The company has repeatedly denied rumors it will expand its business into the mobile hardware segment. In addition, insiders say Facebook has privately promised both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google that a branded smartphone is not in the cards.

For more:
- read this Unwired View article
- read this TechCrunch article

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