Facebook is set to hold a special press event tomorrow, Jan. 15. And a couple of things expected to be launched by the social networking giant are its long-rumored smartphone and Messenger for iPad.

Facebook’s fabled smartphone was first reported back in 2010, but the plan at that time was eventually scrapped. Then, in 2011, Facebook partnered with HTC to make a smartphone codenamed “Buffy.” Then, in May of last year, it was reported that Facebook had hired former Apple engineers to make the proprietary phone.

Now, according to a report by TechCrunch’s MG Siegler, the company is likely to launch the so-called Facebook phone at tomorrow’s press event.

But, as pointed out by Siegler:

It’s not entirely clear if this will be an actual piece of Facebook branded hardware or if they will simply use hardware from a phone maker to show off some sort of new Facebook OS for mobile. That is to say, it could very well be that the “Facebook Phone” is more about a Facebook OS running on a phone (or a few phones).

As for the native iPad version of Facebook Messenger, Alexia Tsotsis, also of TechCrunch, reports that “the app is ‘totally’ ready to launch on Tuesday.”

The upcoming Messenger for iPad, which, in all likelihood, will arrive through a universal update to the existing version of Messenger for iOS, is said to be:

… replete with all the Messenger features we’ve come to love like emoticons, photosharing, read receipts, location tagging, group messaging, and the new voice-recorded messaging feature …

To be sure, I’m not the most avid of Facebook users. But I am nonetheless interested to see what Facebook has up its sleeve — especially if it pertains to a possible iPhone competitor or a long-overdue iPad version of one of the company’s popular apps.

Source: TechCrunch 1, 2
Via: Cult of Mac