Facebook ‘not building phone’

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Facebook rules out handset development as it pursues integration with existing manufacturers and operating systems

Social networking behemoth Facebook has said that it is not building a phone after rumours began circulating on technology forums that it is concerned by the competition to its services from the iPhone and Android-powered smartphones.

TechCrunch reported over the weekend (September 19) that Facebook wanted to have greater control over the way contact lists and other functions are integrated from Facebook into phones, leading the way for it to develop its own operating system to use on its own phone.

Facebook said this report is not accurate and that it has no interest in building its own phone, instead preferring to work with developers and manufacturers to better integrate its services into existing operating systems.

A statement from Facebook read: “Our approach has always been to make all phones and apps more social, not build a phone.

“Current projects 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 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’, even internally, because that’s such an attractive soundbite, but our real strategy is to make everything social and not build one phone or integration.”

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