It seems that Facebook now wants to join the race to build the best smartphone. With Android and iOS for the iPhone taking over the mobile phone market Facebook feels left out. Facebook has the power to integrate its social network completely with a phone and its OS if it is indeed created. With its more than 500 million active users, Facebook launching a phone or an OS may provide very competitive in the market today.
According to TechCrunch and their sources Facebook is indeed researching and building its own mobile OS and possibly its own phone. The reasons listed for Facebook to create its own OS is because they want integrate deeply into the contacts list and other core functions of the phone. The only way they can do that is to completely control the phone or the OS. According to TechCrunch’s sources, Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos are the 2 that are secretly working on the project at Facebook.
TechCrunch predicts that the phone will be low-end and cheap, something around $50 which seems completely reasonable for people that may only want Facebook integration and not much more. The problem may lie in data plan pricing which will increase the cost of owning a phone like this. Check out our source for more information.
Update: According to Mashable and Facebook this isn’t true.
“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.”
So Facebook isn’t building a phone, what are they up to then??