Even though Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly denied that there will be a Facebook smartphone, the rumors have not gone away.
According to a report from CNet.com, HTC might be working on such a device, which apparently is based on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system. However, it sounds like the development is still in early stages.
It’s reasonable to think that Facebook would want its own phone. Let’s face it: The tech industry is obsessed with replicating Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) highly successful hardware/software model. For example, despite also partnering with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) on Windows Phones, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is creating a smartphone of its own. And of course, Google now owns Motorola, which it can leverage for mobile products.
Still, it seems unlikely Facebook will go down the same path. Zuckerberg understands that the smartphone business is brutally competitive, as seen in the implosions at Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Nokia.
Besides, as seen with Facebook’s latest quarterly report, the company is already getting traction monetizing its huge mobile user base — something that really can make a dent on the bottom line.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.