The evidence has picked up some steam since yesterday that Facebook is indeed working on a phone, despite what the company is saying to the contrary.
Yesterday we reported on a rumor that Facebook is working on a branded smartphone. TechCrunch broke the story, but it was quickly refuted by a statement from the social network. As we noted briefly, the statement was a bit oddly worded, and it left a lot of wiggle room for the company. Well, it appears it needed that space so it could potentially backtrack at some point.
CNET did some digging after the statement was issued, and it has discovered evidence that Facebook did indeed talk to some handset manufacturers over the summer, as well as some carriers to gauge their interest. It appears that a company such as HTC would build a phone that runs on Google’s Android operating system, but it would feature deeper Facebook integration than any current iteration features.
Adding to the fun, Facebook did not reply to CNET when it presented the company with this information.
None of this means that the phone is a done deal, however. Facebook is notorious for getting an idea, playing with it, and then dumping it. Apparently all of the work that has been done thus far is simply to test out the idea to see if there would be any interest.
Of course, a phone with deep social integration has already been on the market, and people are pointing out what a rollicking success Microsoft’s Kin was. I think the flaw in this concept is that it wasn’t Facebook itself behind the system, and if this is built on top of Android, you will also be getting all the benefits it brings with it, something the Kin was lacking.
Again, nothing is set in stone that this phone will ever hit the market, but it sure looks more plausible now.
What say you? Would you be interested in a Facebook branded phone?