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Will a Collaboration with INQ Bring us a Facebook Phone Running Android?

facebook-iconWe’ve hear these rumors come and go. Facebook wants to pull an Apple (or is it pulling a Google in this case?) and try their hand at the mobile market. Every time talks seem to surface about Facebook pushing forward in creating a mobile device they are quickly silenced by the company, but now a new report from Bloomberg indicates that sources working close to the matter have informed them that the Facebook team has indeed teamed up with handset manufacturer INQ for a new set of mobile devices based on Android and with tight social integration. The report continues that the devices will be available in Europe sometime in early 2011 and then potentially make their way to the States via AT&T around early summer.

Perhaps the most convincing part of this bit of insider info is the precedent set by a previous collaboration between the two companies regarding feature phones. Those devices weren’t Facebook-branded but still had a deep integration with the social network. Facebook hasn’t flat out denied that they are working with the company currently either.

The biggest caveat arrises in that there is still a good chance the phone won’t actually be called the “Facebook Phone” or FacePhone or PhoneBook or whatever. Really all we can know for certain is that these INQ devices might get better Facebook support than what is currently available via the official Android app.

And all of this begs the question: is one social network really a sturdy enough platform to build an entire mobile experience around? Granted, Facebook has become deeply integrated into the web (just check out the like button on this very page as an example), but can it provide a rich enough experience to really convince people they need a phone based around the service? The answer to that question may reveal the truth about whether or not we ever see a Facebook phone. But then again, it may not.




  • Ace Curry

    First they gotta improve the Facebook for Android app.

  • Bob

    Hopefully this will bring a better app on the android than the iPhone. The current app is still not as good as the one on iPhone.

  • me

    From a sales and marketing standpoint this is probably a good idea just because of the market penetration you could get with a facebook branded phone. That said, it would have to be a cheaper, low-end, entry level phone since their target market segment would be tweens and teens. I for one want nothing to do with facebook or a facebook phone but someone could make a lot of money off it.

  • Terrence

    Just improve and expand the Android app. Developers already have access to everything in the phone already, why do they need to make their own phone? Just make their Facebook for Android app integrate more of the phone instead of isolating it to just the app and notifications. they already have everything they need at their disposal, why try to sell a phone when people already have phones that they’re in love with

  • Haggie

    Maybe Facebook can recruit all the Helio executives since they did such a great job proving the value proposition of that MVNO…

  • Haggie

    This is a “support a ridiculous valuation” initiative.

    Simply put, no single product website, regardless of its size and reach, is worth Facebook’s valuation. Facebook has to morph into a broad service provider, like Google, to actually justify their astronomical valuation. Otherwise, Facebook will be just another MySpace in a couple of years…

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Tech

    Why would anyone want a ‘facebook’ phone when all phones all ready access facebook?

  • SillyRabit

    the same reason people want google phones, when all phones can already access google?

    My guess is they will try and implement a lot of the facebook games to the mobile market…

  • wm b

    If they can’t make a decent app, how are they going to make a decent phone?

  • Alex

    But a Google Phone doesn’t just access Google and let you do searches, it integrates all the services that are available. Plus, it appears Google is continuing to expand more and more as to what it provides, which is pretty cool.

  • Contraus

    I have a facebook account, but not really by choice. All my friends and family have a facebook account, so that’s how I keep in touch with them. But to be honest…FUCK facebook. On the computer, it runs like shit. On my phone, the app runs like shit and then redirects me to the website that runs like shit. Whoever programmed the facebook app for android needs to be shot in the face.