In just a matter of hours from now, at 1:00 PM Eastern, Facebook will commence its “New Home on Android” media event at its corporate headquarters in suburban Menlo Park, California. According to multiple sources, the event will be focused around one of two things: the unveiling of the long-anticipated Facebook Phone in collaboration with Taiwanese handset maker HTC or, more likely, the arrival of an app dubbed as “Facebook Home” that is highly integrated across the Android platform.
While the flagship HTC One smartphone is expected to hit the market later this month, the “HTC First” could be the first — no pun intended — smartphone to showcase this new Facebook-enriched Android experience. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how consumers react to this smartphone, as there has been much debate about the necessity of a Facebook Phone. If the “HTC First” isn’t much more than an iPhone with a Facebook app and native sharing functionality, then it probably won’t sell.
Regardless of its fate, the “HTC First” could be yet another player in the competitive smartphone market. Just four months into the year, we’ve already seen the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, BlackBerry Z10 and perhaps now the HTC First. Just maybe, for the first time in several years, the smartphone market won’t be dominated solely by Apple and Samsung. Competition is good, and we’re seeing a whole lot of it right now. Check back later today for further updates on the Facebook event.