Earlier in the week, TechCrunch wrote that an Android-powered Facebook smartphone was rumored to be in development. Later, in a TechCrunch interview with Mark Zuckerberg, Mr. Zuckerberg refuted the rumors that Facebook was building their own smartphone based on a social experience. He went on to say that Facebook's aim is to increase social integration, not compete with the likes of Android and the iPhone.
Zuckerberg also said that Facebook's engineers are not working on such a project, but that they have been working with INQ for a while to better integrate Facebook onto INQ's devices.
Here is a snippet of the interview with Zuckerberg taken from Engadget, where he discusses his vision for a Facebook integrated smartphone:
On phones we can actually do something better. We can do a single sign-on if we do a good integration with a phone, rather than just doing something where you go to an app and it's automatically social or having to sign into each app individually. Those are the two options on the web. Why not for mobile? Just make it so that you log into your phone once, and then everything that you do on your phone is social.
Bloomberg reportedly has three insider sources which claim that Facebook has teamed up with INQ, a smartphone manufacturer, to create two smartphones based around Facebook and Android, but "hasn’t decided whether its name will be used on the devices, the person said."
According to Bloomberg, the phones will first be released in Europe somewhere in the first half of next year, followed by the U.S. in the second half of next year. AT&T is considering whether or not to carry the phones.
Gizmodo comments that INQ was "also rumored to be creating a Spotify-specific phone last year, though that didn't pan out once Spotify created apps for Android and iPhone. One thing we can be sure of if Facebook does actually launch their own phones: they're going to be cheap. Cheap 'n nasty."
Confused? Join the crowd. I tried my best, but this whole thing is really confusing. My question is, does anyone here Facebook enough to be interested in buying an integrated Facebook experience as it's main selling point?
Image from Engadget