Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is working with Chinese semiconductor company Spreadtrum (UNKNOWN:SPRD.DL) to embed the Facebook app directly into smartphone chips, according to a Spreadtrum news release.

Spreadtrum produces a so-called turnkey smartphone platform that puts together the baseband/apps processor, protocol software, and operating system into a package which handset makers can then assemble into an inexpensive smartphone.

Facebook wants its app to be right in front of buyers switching from feature phones to smartphones in markets such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and India.

"Working with Spreadtrum will extend Facebook's reach in emerging markets, leveraging the rapid shift from feature phones to smartphones that is now taking place globally," said Vaughan Smith, vice president of Mobile Partnerships and Corporate Development at Facebook, in the Spreadtrum release.

The operating system used in the Spreadtrum chips will be Google's Android OS.

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