Facebook said it worked closely with INQ Mobile on the Cloud Touch and Cloud Q, and with HTC on the ChaCha and Salsa phones that boost the social-network experience for users.
15 acknowledged that it had worked with INQ Mobile and HTC to help the phone
makers deliver so-called Facebook phones, or handsets optimized for the 600
million-plus users of the social network.
which last September denied it was building its own Facebook-branded phone,
also said consumers can expect to see more of these devices proliferate in the
Feb. 9 introduced
its INQ Cloud Touch and INQ Cloud Q
handsets, two Android 2.2 smartphones that provide single sign-on and one-touch
access to Facebook features.
screen sports users' Facebook News Feed and quick links to Chat, Messages,
Places and notifications. Users may also check in to Places from the home
which will be available in Europe, were displayed Feb. 15 at Mobile World
Congress, where HTC also unveiled
its ChaCha and Salsa "Facebook
2.3 gadgets offer a dedicated Facebook button to give users one-touch access to
their favorite Facebook functions, allowing them to update their status, upload
a photo, share a news article and check in to Places. When users make a call,
the screen displays their friends' Facebook status updates and photos.
The ChaCha and
Salsa will be available to customers across major European and Asian markets
during the second quarter of 2011, with AT&T bringing them to the United
States later in the year.
mobile engineer Charles Wu acknowledged Facebook has "been working with
several application developers, operators and hardware manufacturers from the
addition to these new phones from INQ and HTC, you'll also be seeing similar
deep Facebook integration on dozens of other devices over the course of this
year," Wu said in a blog post
manufacturers will be highlighting Facebook as a part of their phones'
on-screen interfaces, and others will use our brand as an element of the device
What is clear
at this point is that Facebook is not building its own phone, a rumor triggered
by TechCrunch and Bloomberg last year.
The jury is
still out on whether users want a phone with dedicated Facebook streams and
buttons, but in the context of any other feature, such as video chat and games,
the Facebook brand could push people to the gadgets from INQ Mobile and HTC.