February 15, 2011 | by Michael Heller
We’ve heard rumors and seen mockups, but it seems like the HTC Facebook phones are real, and do fall more in line with Facebook’s comment that the phones are simply “integrating [the Facebook APIs] in an interesting way”. PocketNow has pics of the phones, while the Seattle Times has more in-depth (though harder to believe) info on the phones.
The first model is the ChaCha, which borrows a stereotypical Blackberry candybar design, with a physical keyboard and a 2.6″ touchscreen. The second model is the Salsa, which is a more standard Android slate with a 3.4″ touchscreen. The interesting thing you see in the images is the dedicated Facebook button at the bottom of each phone. Supposedly, this button flashes contextually for quick sharing to Facebook, such as when you take a picture or find your location on Google Maps.
The Seattle Times credits all of this information to Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC North America. Mackenzie also said that when receiving a call, the phone would display the latest Facebook status update along with Caller ID info, as well as photos and an alert if the person’s birthday is coming up.
The article claims that the phones will be available in Q2. But, it also says that the phones will launch with “Android 2.4″, and claims that the upcoming HTC Flyer tablet will be launching with Android 2.4 and upgradeable to Honeycomb. Though, I’m willing to bet that was simply a typo, and when HTC officially announces these phones, they’ll be packing Android 2.3.