A “Facebook phone” has been rumored for sometime, however — and many analysts regard its appearance as a matter of when, not if.
“really wouldn’t make much sense for us to do.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call with analysts the social networking company isn’t interested in developing its own mobile phone.
However, his denial hasn’t stopped the pundits from projecting that Facebook still has a handset in the works.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook Inc. is working with HTC Corp. to build its own smartphone for release as soon as mid-2013, people with knowledge of the matter said. The companies had intended to release the device as early as the end of this year, and pushed back the timetable to give HTC more time to work on other products.
Several sources said that Facebook, which urgently needs to find a way to make money from its growing number of mobile phone visitors, has already hired former Apple employees who are believed to be working with HTC on the new project.
Building its own device could allow the site to collect revenue from its existing advertisers more effectively by making sure their commercial content was distributed throughout the phone’s different functions.
HTC and Facebook have collaborated before – the ChaCha and Salsa phones both featured Facebook buttons. But the presence of OS engineers on the new Facebook Phone team suggests that the new handset will feature deeper integration than just a Facebook button.
So have all the rumors simply been hot air and will Facebook instead focus its efforts on improving a widely maligned mobile app? We will know in future.