HTC to Release Facebook Phones for AT&T

HTC to Release Facebook Phones for AT&T

HTC today introduced the ChaCha and Salsa, two Android-based phones with a focus on Facebook, for AT&ampT, in a move to take advantage of the growing popularity of social networking.

The Taiwan-based handset maker said the ChaCha and Salsa are one of the first devices to feature a dedicated Facebook button, letting users post just about anything to the social network site in one touch.

Both devices come with a built-in 5.0-megapixel camera with a VGA secondary lens for video chat. Pressing the Facebook button after snapping a photo will send it straight to the website to share with friends and family. In addition, they have access to Facebook chat, allowing them to see who’s online and start as many conversations as they like.

The ChaCha and Salsa both run on a 600-megahertz processor and Android 2.3 software, and feature HSPA-plus Internet and Wi-Fi access. The ChaCha has a full QWERTY keyboard and a 2.6-inch touch screen. The Salsa has no keyboard, but a larger 3.4-inch display.

HTC said both devices will be released in Europe and Asia in the second quarter. The company did not disclosed a launch date or pricing for AT&T.

“We have always understood that different people want different things and the ChaCha and Salsa offer new ways to experience Facebook on a mobile device,” said Peter Chou, HTC chief executive. “With more than 500 million active users worldwide, Facebook has become synonymous with the social web and we wanted to create the ultimate socially connected phones with mass market appeal.”

HTC is aiming to ride the success of social networking, as nearly 250 million Facebook users access its site from mobile devices. The company has been on the forefront of innovation since working with Google to produce the G1, the first Android phone back in 2008, and last week, it reported record January sales, more than tripling earnings from a year ago.

Earlier today, HTC unveiled revamped versions of the Incredible, Desire and Wildfire, three Android-based smartphones to capture the smartphone market from the low- to high-end segment. In addition, it announced its first tablet, called the Flyer, running Android’s “Honeycomb” software, which is optimized for the larger screen.

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