Facebook and HTC team up for 'Myst' smart phone: report

The Facebook phone rumors roil onward. The latest has Facebook and HTC releasing a device called the Myst. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage for a media event at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., March 7, 2013. A Facebook phone is reportedly on the way.

No, Facebook phone rumors are nothing new. In fact, they've been percolating for about three years now, in one form or another. But there's a reason why they're so indelible: Facebook, and its shareholders, know that the future of the largest social network in the world lies in its mobile strategy. It makes sense that eventually, Facebook, no matter what CEO Mark Zuckerberg says, will try its hand at the hardware game. 

The latest Facebook phone rumor comes courtesy of the tech site Unwired View, which reports that HTC and Facebook are collaborating on a device known as the Myst (not to be confused with the popular computer game of the same name). The details are as follows: The Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system, a 4.3-inch high-res display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 5-megapixel camera. 

It's worth noting that these aren't exactly high-end specs. There are plenty of phones out there already with bigger screens, faster processors, and much better cameras. So if the Unwired View report is correct, expect a mid-range smart phone. 

But the Myst, Unwired View notes, will "ship with a full complement of FB software pre-loaded, such as a new version of the Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, among others." So maybe all that integration will make the phone attractive to at least a few of the billion-odd Facebook users out there. 

Over at TechCrunch, Darrell Etherington notes that the Facebook app is already plenty popular, and easy to download onto a non-Facebook-branded phone. Ditto for Instagram. However, Etherington continues, "a relatively inexpensive device with the software already on-board is a way for Facebook to target directly the market where it needs to start seeing more growth." 

In related news, at a press conference yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a fresh look for the News Feed. The new News Feed – say that ten times fast – will be heavy on multimedia and customization. The idea, Zuckerberg explained, is for Facebook to become a kind of “personalized newspaper." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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