Facebook Mobile Phones In Development?

Posted on Sep 19 2010 - 11:59am by Matt Jackson

There are numerous mobile phones and smartphones on the market that claim to offer complete social networking functionality. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are supposed to integrate perfectly into the operating systems that the handsets use but the reality is quite different. iOS and Android struggle to offer the complete suite of features that Facebook includes and this tends to mean disappointment. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is readying itself to develop its own mobile operating system, and they will use a third party mobile phone manufacturer to create the devices to carry the system.

The new smartphones would be able to offer complete Facebook functionality as they would be built from the ground up to cope with everything that it has to offer. While it’s only rumour at the moment, TechCrunch are notoriously good at getting these things right and rather than just offer a throwaway suggestion they’ve given some pretty big details. The project will be headed by Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos which would make sense. The dream team have been responsible for the original Facebook app, Firefox, Parakey, and Google Chrome in past roles.

If the rumours do prove to be true, it’s unlikely that Facebook would become a major contender for the likes of Apple or Google, but they would certainly have a decent start on the teenage social networking crowd, assuming that they get the price point right.

The possible features are quite good too. Everything could be synced from Facebook to mobile phone and vice versa. Birthdays could be updated and a reminder made available on your mobile phone. Address books could be constantly updated and Facebook games could be just a touch away. Facebook essentially already has its own app store that could presumably be expanded upon too.

Would you be interested in a Facebook operating system for your next smartphone?

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Steve Naventi September 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    A statement from Facebook

    “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.”

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