Apparently Micahel Arrington from TechCrunch fame received a tip from a credible source saying that Facebook is about to launch its own mobile phone.
Facebook is building a mobile phone, says a source who has knowledge of the project. Or rather, theyâ€™re building the software for the phone and working with a third party to actually build the hardware. […]
Specifically, Facebook wants to integrate deeply into the contacts list and other core functions of the phone. It can only do that if it controls the operating system.
Two high level Facebook employees â€“Â Joe Hewitt andÂ Matthew Papakipos â€“ are said to be secretly working on the project, which is unknown even to most Facebook staff. (via TechCrunch)
Some people are already claiming that this rumor is a farce, with public denials from Jaime Schopflin (Facebook’s spokesperson).
Despite the the apparent absurdity of a Facebook phone (at least to those within the geekosphere), a Facebook phone could potentially threaten both Apple and Google’s reign in the smart phone world (key word is “potentially”).
6 Degrees Of Separation?
Instead of sending an SMS, users could send a message (which would be much longer than 160 characters).
Instead of figuring out which 10, 12 or 13 digit number to call, a Facebook phone could emphasize names (which truth be told humanizes the contact list).
Instead of dealing with multiple calendars across multiple platforms (MS Exchange, Google Calendars, etc.), a Facebook phone could make it easier to plan and schedule events due to the fact that “everyone has one.”
Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers!
A Facebook phone would easily attract developers interested in the areas of photography, videography, gaming as well as fashion, and it would not be surprising to see developers upon the iPhone and Android port their creations upon a Facebook phone.
If Facebook found a way to easily port Facebook apps created upon the website, they could easily compete against the mighty iPhone and Android’s app store and app market,Â respectively.
What Would They Call It? And Would You Buy It?
Although the name would lack in the coolness department, it probably would be in the social networking company’s interest to give the phone a generic name (until they can think of a better one to give it).
As far as purchasing the phone goes, truth be told a Facebook phone would probably not appeal to the corporate sector or for smart phone power users, but rather teenagers and (potentially) grandparnets wanting to connect with their grandkids.
Although price is always a factor, a Facebook phone under $100 (or even $50!) could help the social network attract an even larger global footprint, supplanting both Google and Apple as well as helping Facebook to become the pulse of the planet.
Image Credit: TechCrunch