Facebook quashes mobile phone rumors

Facebook refuted a TechCrunch story saying it is not working on a phone but closer integration with mobile devices

Facebook said on Monday it is not building a mobile phone, dismissing a TechCrunch story that it is working on software for a device from a hardware manufacturer.

"The story is not accurate," according to a company statement. "Our approach has always been to make all phones and apps more social, not build a phone. The bottom line is that whenever we work on a deep integration, people want to call it a "Facebook Phone" (even internally) because that's such an attractive sound bite, but our real strategy is to make everything social and not build one phone or integration."

TechCrunch reported that Facebook wanted more control over a phone's operating system in order to more deeply integrate with phone features such as contact lists.

Facebook said it is also working on enabling full support on mobiles for its Connect feature, which allows people to use their Facebook identification credentials to log into other Web-based applications.

"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," according to Facebook. "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')."

But Facebook did describe its mobile work, such as an HTML5 version of the site. HTML5 is the latest specification for the Web's mother tongue that enables new graphic features and the ability to create snappy Web applications with desktop-like performance, among others.

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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