Jan 26th, 2011

Following the rumor earlier today that HTC was working on Android-based “Facebook phones”, BGR received a tip from someone who was part of a focus group for what appeared to be a Facebook phone. I won’t get into whether or not I believe this and earlier rumors personally, but here’s the full rundown:

  • Location aware coupons: you pick main categories of interest. When you’re near any stores that fall into those categories, coupons are pushed to your phone. Basically, it sounds like “Facebook Deals on steroids,” as our tipster elegantly phrased it.
  • An always-on GPS service much like Google Latitude that would run in the background. The service would provide automatic “check-ins” and might share your location with friends.
  • No local storage (or very little). Everything is cloud based including contacts, media, data, etc.
  • Obviously the phone will include a camera, but everything will be uploaded automatically and stored in the cloud.
  • A news ticker-style message system: all messages funnel into one mass inbox, sortable by type, but initially unfiltered. There will also be a ticker of some kind that reads off message content as it’s is delivered, regardless of message type.

We should note that the phone wasn’t immediately presented as a Facebook-specific phone, but participants were asked social media-heavy questions such as “how many photos do you upload to Facebook a day?” Are we being primed for a Mobile World Congress unveiling? We’ll find out soon enough.