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Facebook to launch iPhone competitor at Tuesday press event

Mark Zuckerberg is expected to announce a Facebook smartphone and a new Messenger for iPad app. Here's what we know so far…

Facebook messengerFacebook is rumoured to announce its own iPhone competitor at a press event tomorrow (15th January). Citing multiple sources, TechCrunch’s MG Siegler says that he’s been told to expect, “some sort of Facebook Phone to be on display on Tuesday.”

There’s a caveat, though, with Siegler suggesting that the Facebook phone might not be a phone at all, but a Facebook OS running on another manufacturer’s hardware. This could echo the announcement made by Ubuntu earlier this month, which also saw an unveiling of its own mobile operating system.

Alongside a Facebook smartphone or, at the very least, OS, TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis says that Tuesday may also see the launch of the long-awaited Facebook Messenger for iPad app. The app is expected to include a number of features that already exist on the iPhone, making it a worthy competitor to Apple’s iMessage service.

Rumours of a Facebook phone have been circulating since last year when the company started hiring former iPhone and iPad engineers. Whether such a device could compete with the iPhone remains to be seen.