While the prospect of an entirely new smartphone coming to take out the likes Android, iOS, and Windows Phone may seem silly, what if its platform already attracts over 800 million users worldwide? The social networking behemoth that is Facebook has reportedly struck a deal with HTC to build a Facebook smartphone named Buffy.

Yes, it's named after Buffy the vampire slayer, according to All Things D, and it'll run a modified version of Android that has Facebook heavily integrated deep into its core. That suggests Facebook integration like we've never seen it before any other smartphone. The device will also support HTML5 as a platform for applications, according to sources "familiar with the project."

The report notes that Facebook has been contemplating a smartphone for years, and had considered making Samsung its hardware partner, before recently choosing to work with the Taiwanese smartphone giant HTC. (Possibly due to Samsung's close relationship with Google.)

Don't put your contract upgrade on hold for this device just yet, however. Because Facebook and HTC have only recently shaken hands on the deal, the device isn't expected to hit the market for at least another 12 to 18 months.

Unsurprisingly, both Facebook and HTC have declined to comment on the device, however, Facebook did offer a statement about its mobile strategy, which hints at its partnerships with hardware providers to bring "powerful social experiences to more people around the world":

"Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We're working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world."

All Things D promises that this report is just "the first in a series of posts this week about the Facebook phone," so you can expect to find out more about the device over the coming days.

I'm a Facebook user, but I certainly don't use it enough to have it "deeply" integrated into the core of my smartphone. Basic integration and apps work just fine for me.

Would you like a Facebook smartphone?

[via All Things D]