The blogosphere has been hyped today about a possible Facebook phone in works. It all started with the TechCrunch post about Facebook Is Secretly Building a Phone which was quickly picked up by other major media sources including Silicon Alley Insider, CNET and even Gizmodo. Speculations ranged from building an actual phone to building a mobile platform.
Facebook, however, quickly denied the news in an official statement to Mashable:
The story, which originated in Techcrunch, is not accurate. Facebook is not building a phone. Our approach has always been to make phones and apps more social. 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’ because that’s such an attractive soundbite, but building phones is just not what we do.
Many blogs, however, calling this denial a playing-around-with-words still think that Facebook is building something. Silicon Alley Insider claims that Facebook has simply denied the manufacturing of phone hardware but not the highly speculated premise that Facebook is taking Android and making it into a Facebook-flavored platform. Something that will give Facebook much more control over the smart phone industry than it currently has. That means Facebook can have their own unique mobile advertising service and many third-party apps features which currently don’t make it to mobile Facebook due to platform restrictions.
So, even though, we are unlikely to see a Facebook branded phone soon, we may see a highly customized platform that will make Facebook users less dependent on Android or iPhone.