Report: Nonexistent “Facebook Phone” to Be Manufactured by INQ Mobile
So the Facebook phone that the social networking service claims doesn’t exist? It’s being manufactured by INQ Mobile and it will likely be available through AT&T (T) next year in two different models–one with a touchscreen and another with a Qwerty-style keyboard. This according to not one but three people familiar with the matter, who tell Bloomberg the devices will run Android and may–or may not–carry the Facebook brand.
Perhaps this is what CEO Mark Zuckerberg meant by “deep integration.” “Our goal is not to build a phone that competes with the iPhone or anything like that,” he told TechCrunch earlier this week. “For now, I think, everything is going to be shades of integration, rather than starting from the ground up and building a whole system.”
Of course, INQ already peddles handsets with pretty robust Facebook integration–automatic log-in, address book/Facebook contact synchronization, etc.–so these new devices to which Bloomberg refers may well be another variation on that concept and not the “Facebook phone” we’ve heard so much about this week. Certainly, that seems to be Facebook’s position on the matter. And INQ has been selling mass market “social mobile phones” like it since 2008.
“We’ve been working with INQ for a couple of years now to help them build a deeply integrated Facebook experience on their devices,” the company said in a statement. “While we can’t speak for their future product development plans, we can say that our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social.”