Feeds

Facebook fone? Feh, says Facebook

But net, blogosphere know better, apparently

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Facebook has been busy denying rumours that it's planning to manufacture its own mobile phone, though not everyone is convinced.

The story stared with TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, who reported the secret project to create a phone with an integrated Facebook experience. The report mentions staff assigned to the project, and speculates that it will feature Spotify capabilities too. Even denials from Facebook itself have failed to quell the story.

"Facebook is not building a phone" the company's statement says, explaining that it's working on all sorts of things in the mobile space and that "people want to call it a ‘Facebook Phone’ because that’s such an attractive soundbite, but building phones is just not what we do". But that's not enough for CNET, who reckons Facebook is playing with words like Google did before (Google accurately said it would never make an Android handset, though but it did start selling one made by HTC).

Not that making a phone is hard these days: knock on the doors of HTC, Pantech or half a dozen other Asian manufacturers and they'll roll out a dozen reference designs from which you can take your pick of features. Stick a copy of Android on there, or tweak up something new, then add some branding and pre-installed applications, before you know it you can call yourself a phone manufacturer - works for Apple.

But why would Facebook, or anyone else, do such a thing? Facebook already has a variety of mobile versions, and aggregated address books (which pull in content from social networking and cloud sites) are de rigeur these days, so it would be hard to differentiate a "Facebook" offering. Facebook themselves, in the denial, point to the INQ1 as offering an ideal Facebook experience.

The story has prompted much discussion of what a Facebook phone would do, though almost all of it focuses on enabling value-added content including Farmville and its ilk, when the real issue is surely the inability of mobile versions to make money for Facebook. For an advertising-funded service to be unable to display adverts is surely unforgivable.

So if there were a Facebook phone then surely it would be focused on getting revenue from those mobile users, gathering user information and presenting targeted advertising under the guise of providing greater mobility - a role already adequately filled by Google's Android itself. But there isn't a Facebook phone, nor any reason to have one, despite what the blogosphere might think. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.