Details are still pretty scarce at the moment, but an interesting rumor is going around claiming that Facebook is secretly working to come up with a mobile phone of its own, similar to what Google did with its Nexus One. Considering how alluring the simple games and social networking features of Facebook are, it wouldn’t be too surprising to find a Facebook-oriented phone addictive. Of course, the benefit of such a move to Facebook would be deep integration into the user’s personal information such as contact numbers, addresses, emails etc. According to the rumor, former iPhone app developer Joe Hewitt and Google’s previous Chrome OS project leader Matthew Papakipos are secretly working on the project. No real details were mentioned, so we’ll keep this in the rumor bin for the moment, but the idea itself is an interesting one.
Facebook contacted us via email to deny the rumor, here is what a “Facebook spokesperson” wrote:
“The story is not accurate. Facebook is not building a phone. Our approach has always been to make all phones and apps more social, not build a phone. Current projects include include everything from an HTML5 version of the site to apps on major platforms to full Connect support with SDKs to deeper integrations with some manufacturers. Our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social, so integrating deeply into existing platforms and operating systems is a good way to enable this. For an example, check out Connect for iPhone and the integration we have with contact syncing through our iPhone app. Another example is the INQ1 phone with Facebook integration (the first so-called “Facebook Phone”). The people mentioned in the story are working on these projects. The bottom line is that whenever we work on a deep integration, people want to call it a “Facebook Phone” (even internally) because that’s such an attractive soundbite, but our real strategy is to make everything social and not build one phone or integration.”
Editor’s note: we made it very clear in our article that the source story is based on a rumor, and that it was not an official announcement from Facebook.