Facebook to announce Smartphone next week

The long-running saga of the Facebook Smartphone continues, even though Mark Zuckerberg himself has denied there is one or ever will be one. Today’s announcement concerns a report received from “sources familiar with the matter”, saying that Facebook’s highly publicized media event on 15th January will be the forum for a smartphone to be announced.

A report from M.G. Siegler, TechCrunch columnist, says :
“In The Lord of the Rings, when Sauron’s forces capture Gollum, they torture him in Mordor but are only able to get two things out of him: “Shire” and “Baggins”. Over the past few days, we’ve had similar frustrations in trying to track down the content of the Facebook event taking place this coming Tuesday. Despite hounding a number of people who might be in the know, the only discernible things we were able to come up with was: “big deal” and “mobile”.
Interesting, but way too vague. But we endured. And now we have a bit more information. And that information points to a Facebook Phone …of some sort.”
Of course, nothing is certain because there has been absolutely no information given, apart from denials. Normally when a new gadget is about to be unveiled we get some sort of leakage, a few details here and there. The only thing that has been talked about is that HTC were apparently working on the Facebook phone. So, it could be that Facebook are going to be announcing the software for a phone, rather than hardware itself.
It would, in all honesty, make sense for Facebook to get someone else to build the phone, after all, they are a social networking site, albeit the biggest in the world, but they are not hardware manufacturers or designers.  If it is just the software then Siegler once again reports :
“What about the OS itself? How would Facebook do it? Details are slim here as well, but the obvious answer would be a fork of Android. This would allow the OS to run hundreds of thousands of apps already out there. With Amazon seeing some success doing this with their Kindle Fire tablets (and soon their own phone as well), this could have emboldened Facebook to make the move now.”
Or, they could use WebOS which has just been open-sourced by HP. The other alternative is that Facebook build a brand new OS from the ground up – if this is their option let’s hope they have a little more success than Apple’s “built from the ground up” Maps App!
So, is this all just more hype or is it the world’s best kept secret?  We’ll be watching their Media event on the 15th January and we’ll keep you up to date.
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