Scared by Google’s impending Nexus One (which was announced back in January of this year), Facebook supposedly began planning their phone. Something that would integrate Facebook contacts more deeply than anything Android or any other platforms had done before.
Michael Arrington(techcrunch reporter) wrote on a blog post this morning that two Facebook employees, Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos are leading the charge on the OS, using their previous careers as Firefox browser creator and Chrome OS builder (respectively) to launch something Facebook can be proud of. Whether the rest of the world would be proud carrying a Facebook phone is another matter, though I don’t have any doubts that this would be a very affordable phone aimed at the young people, if it does amount to something other than speculation.
Update: According to an official representative of Facebook, the company is not, in fact, developing a device.
Spokesperson Jaime Schopflin revealed the following in a statement:
“The story, which originated in Techcrunch, is not accurate.Facebook is not building a phone. Our approach has always been to make phones and apps more social. Current projects include include everything from an HTML5 version of the site to apps on major platforms to full Connect support with SDKs to deeper integrations with some manufacturers. Our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social, so integrating deeply into existing platforms and operating systems is a good way to enable this. For an example, check out Connect for iPhone and the integration we have with contact syncing through our iPhone app. Another example is the INQ1 phone with Facebook integration (the first so-called ‘Facebook Phone’). The people mentioned in the story are working on these projects. The bottom line is that whenever we work on a deep integration, people want to call it a ‘Facebook Phone’ because that’s such an attractive soundbite, but building phones is just not what we do.”