Having a phone specially designed to allow for making quick updates to Facebook sounds like the kind of device any Facebook junkie would love to have, but what is an OEM like HTC to do if it wants to market its Facebook-oriented smartphone in China, where the popular online social networking service has been blocked? Simple: repurpose the phone so that it is now integrated with the popular Sina Weibo microblogging platform. Which is exactly what HTC has done with its remade HTC Salsa smartphone, now known as the HTC Weike.
HTC's Salsa and ChaCha smartphones may be great for users who simply need crave the tight integration of Facebook directly into a smartphone's operating system, but it does not change the fact that Chinese users will not be able to benefit from the features in such phones, simply because of the Chinese government's decision to block access to Facebook from within the country. However, it seems that such an obstacle is of no hindrance to HTC, for the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer has just announced a new social media-centric smartphone that has been specially designed to cater to the Chinese.
Enter the HTC Weike smartphone, which Shanzai.com claims is essentially a HTC Salsa that has been localized for use in China and boasts tight integration with the country's popular Sina Weibo microblogging platform instead of Facebook. According to Shanzai's report, the HTC Weike will not only make use of the popular HTC Sense interface, but will also allow users to sync their Weibo account, thus allowing them to "chat with people they are following on Weibo, which then places them into contacts automatically".
Little has been revealed about the HTC Weike's hardware specifications, although Shanzai.com claims that the smartphone will feature a 3.2-inch display that is capable of a native resolution of 320×480, and that it will be running off version 2.2 of the Android operating system (which is old by today's standards).
No details about the HTC Weike's availability or pricing in China have been announced at this point of time.