Yesterday, HTC announced that they will be debuting two Facebook-branded smart phones, complete with the official Facebook colors (of, obviously, blue and blue). The company is reportedly planning to unveil the Facebook phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
Of course, Facebook denied the rumor that they will be working with HTC just like they’ve denounced every other rumor about a Facebook-branded phone. According to the Mashable piece, Facebook’s head of business development, Dan Rose, said the device is just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs and integrated them into their device in an interesting way.
Even without the Facebook seal of approval, the device could be quite appealing. What can users expect? Word is that Facebook phones will integrate with your personal Facebook address book, making it easier to call and email your Facebook friends via the information that they make public. With the site’s growth stronger than ever, it ought to appeal to a wide variety of users who use it as their main connectivity hub.
So why the hesitation for Facebook to give its official nod to a smart phone? It seems like a no brainer for them to invest in a mobile phone platform after all, many people are increasingly using Facebook as their browser homepage, so why not make it their go-to on the road as well? From a business side, a Facebook-branded phone would allow a larger margin of revenue and more creative advertising opportunities. And, for those of us who are simply Facebook addicts, it could help take the social connectivity of the site to the next level. In fact, we’re so excited to see the phones, it just might be the thing to get us off our Verizon-iPhone fixation.
Stay tuned… We’ll keep you posted.
Contributors: Brian Smith and Betsy Lowther