Such a phone wouldn't mark the first effort for a Facebook/HTC device. The two companies combined to create the ill-fated "ChaCha" (with QWERTY keyboard) and "Salsa" (touchscreen only) phones two years ago. Dance references aside, these were not big sellers. At best, these units will be remembered (barely) for having a small, blue Facebook button near the bottom. Facebook access was nothing more advanced than its early website app. Otherwise, these phones were unremarkable if not forgettable. This new "First" phone will apparently boot-up to show a new Facebook home screen. That's probably why Facebook's invitation asked reporters and bloggers to "Come See Our New Home on Android." The new content-heavy interface is expected to operate along with the standard Google ( GOOG)Android operating system - not instead of it. It may also provide users with new, unknown features as well as additional Facebook functionality. The new First phone might also be the first to take advantage of Facebook's alternative to Microsoft's ( MSFT) Skype. In the past few months Facebook has added voice messaging to its standard Android and Apple ( AAPL) iOS apps and has been testing its own brand of Skype-like Voice-over-IP (VoIP) voice calling technology in Canada.
Whatever they actually announce, we'll know soon enough. So will you. Join us for our live blog of the Facebook event beginning at 12:30 pm EDT,Thursday, April 4. We'll be there to report on what they have to say.