In their excellent reporting on Facebook’s secret phone project, All Things D reporter Ina Fried and Liz Gannes say the first phone from the social networking company is “a ways from hitting the market, potentially as long as 12 to 18 months.”
We’ve heard the launch might come much sooner than that.
A source familiar with Facebook’s plans for the phone tells us that unless things have changed since the summer, Facebook actually plans to put its first phone on the market – an HTC model – during the second quarter of 2012.
The 12 to 18 months timeline is more accurate for for Facebook’s second phone, this source says. That phone will likely to be built by Samsung, and it will come out in Q4 of 2012 or Q1 of 2013.
Phone-makers that were also once in the running to build a Facebook phone include LG and Motorola, before it was acquired by Google.
Plenty could still go wrong and prevent Facebook from launching any phone, ever. Not everyone close to the project is optimistic. One source close to people who worked on the project says he would be surprised to see a Facebook phone hit the market.