I have to put little stress on my mind to recall my old theories about Facebook mobile phone rumors back in September last year when I first heard few rumors about such possible phone. I still remember Mark Zuckerberg’s responsive quote “Facebook is not making any mobile phone” but with the intention to be a deeply integrated company into the core functionality of certain mobile platforms as possible.
However, a piece of sentences from Bloomberg claiming that Facebook was working closely with a manufacturer called “INQ” to roll out a Facebook-centric phone early this year, and here we are.
As per the source, An Android phone developed by INQ has made its way past Bluetooth certification and, though the description of the phone seems to have been edited recently, the original description read as follows:
“INQ Cloud Touch is an Android smartphone built to make messaging faster and smarter. It’s designed around the way people naturally communicate and has Facebook built into its core. The homescreen features multiple entry points to different Facebook functions, while a dynamic widget displays a feed of status updates, albums, videos and photos.”
The description NOW simply reads: “An Android smartphone built to make messaging smarter and faster.”
So, despite of all hiding efforts, we have a name—INQ Cloud Touch—and the fact that it’s got “Facebook built into its core.” Namely, your phone contacts will be your Facebook friends, the phone’s chat function will be Facebook Chat, the phone’s messaging system will be Facebook Messages, the phone’s photo gallery will be Facebook Photos and so on and so forth.
Unfortunately the phone may not be available in US as INQ phones are currently available in selected countries. Unlike US, India mobile market may enjoy the ‘Facebook Phone’ as INQ holds a marginal market share in India and ASIA. Through such Facebook Phone INQ will surely try to reorganize its market share by leveraging on Facebook’s popularity.
However, few possibilities are still alive as Bloomberg had indicated that AT&T may have possibly been considering carrying the phones, so there’s that.
If Bloomberg’s rumors hold true, these INQ/Facebook phones “are due to be introduced in Europe in the first half of 2011 and the U.S. in the second half,” but, again, they’ll need a carrier here to sell the phones and service first.
We can expect such Facebook Phone to be relatively advanced and customer’s centric, though not as advanced as standard smartphones running stock flavors of Android, BlackBerry or Apple’s iOS software. The main idea seems to be simplicity for Facebook junkies without too many extraneous distractions. They’d probably cost less than other smartphones, but feature limited access to third-party apps.
Interestingly, with such move, Facebook, apparently, will challenge Google in another dominance area which is finally shaping out exceptionally for the Google after many failed and disappointed takeovers. Hope, Google is keeping a close eye on so called “Facebook Phone Initiative”.