Facebook to work with INQ for improved social networking on phones?

23 Sep 2010

Facebook is reportedly collaborating with mobile-handset operator INQ Mobile Ltd on two new smartphones.

According to a Bloomberg report, the devices will feature Facebook social networking services and will be released in Europe in the first half of 2011.

The phones could be formidable contenders to the smartphone market, further integrating social networking to mobility.

The currently unnamed devices are said to run on the Android operating system.

One will reportedly feature a touchscreen interface and a QWERTY keyboard and the other will just have a touchscreen.

They will also include other social features apart from Facebook.

Facebook did not confirm the development of specific phones, however, it said in a statement that it has “been working with INQ for a couple of years now to help them build a deeply integrated Facebook experience on their devices.”

“While we can’t speak for their future product development plans, we can say that our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social,” said the Facebook statement.

There had been rumours that Facebook would be developing its own phone.

In a recent interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was working to integrate Facebook better with phones.

“At the end of the day, when people say ‘building a phone’ they actually can mean very different things. Internally, the way we talk about our strategy, it’s like the opposite of that,” said Zuckerberg.

“Our whole strategy is not to build any specific device or integration or anything like that. Because we’re not trying to compete with Apple or the Droid or any other hardware manufacturer for that matter.

“Our strategy is very horizontal. We’re trying to build a social layer for everything. Basically, we’re trying to make it so that every app everywhere can be social whether it’s on the web, or mobile, or other devices.

“So inherently, our whole approach has to be a breadth-first approach rather than a depth-first one. And we work on all of these different things at the same time, so I’m sure whatever leak you got was probably accurate for whatever the person said. But it was probably just one part of what we are doing,” he said.