I’m a bit slow I suppose, or this blog would have been up four days ago, as the story broke. TechCrunch started it all, saying that Facebook was secretly building a phone. Apparently it’s a top secret project that no one but the two developers (Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos) knows about. A phone that is hardwired with Facebook, i.e. you’re logged into Facebook if you switch on your phone.
This was going to happen. Google has a phone (the Nexus One); before that Apple had a phone. So why would Facebook, among the biggest computer guys, not have one? Phones are hot, the PC & laptop experience, while richer isn’t really mobile. All the coolness is really in a handheld device now.
Facebook denied it; their CEO let himself be interviewed on Techcrunch. In the interview, apparently Zuckerberg came round to admitting there was a phone project. (Emphasis on apparently. It’s Techcrunch’s claim; the language isn’t clear). Though it wasn’t about the hardware, but integrating FB on a phone, which INQ is doing. In Techcrunch’s words, “Facebook is working with INQ Mobile on two smartphones that will first hit Europe, and then come to the U.S. to potentially be sold through AT&T. These phones are believed to run on Google’s Android operating system, but likely a modified version with deeper Facebook integration.”
This story made its way around the web, and landed on the BBC website, where I first saw it.
Nevertheless, it’s still something of a sensation. It’s going to invade the last redoubt I have. Luckily I don’t have a smartphone, and don’t intend to buy one. (I keep losing phones, so I stick to the cheapest voice-and-sms phones I can get.)