Beberapa bulan lalu sempat beredar rumor mengenai akan dirilisnya Facebook Phone, yaitu sebuah smartphone Android berlabel Facebook yang akan diproduksi oleh pihak Facebook sendiri, tentu saja bekerja sama dengan produsen smartphone yang waktu itu belum diketahui namanya. Rumor tersebut sempat tenggelam seiring dengan penyangkalan yang dilakukan oleh petinggi Facebook.
Namun, dalam beberapa hari terakhir ini rumor tersebut muncul kembali ke permukaan, bahkan HTC disebut-sebut sebagai vendor yang akan memproduksi Facebook Phone tersebut. Apakah benar demikian?
Silakan simak beberapa berita mengenai rumor Facebook Phone tersebut di bawah ini.
RUMOR FACEBOOK PHONE DARI HTC
Ah, the Facebook phone. Despite statements by the company that it is flat out not making a phone, the rumors persist, and not one but two separate stories have now cropped up on the same day that a mysterious “call” button has appeared on some folks’ Facebook pages. The first of those comes courtesy of BGR, which says it has heard from someone involved in a recent focus group that supposedly centered on a Facebook phone. As the story goes, the phone (which apparently wasn’t actually referred to as a “Facebook phone”) would have an always-on GPS service, no or very little local storage, a camera (with images stored in the cloud), a “news ticker-style message notification system” with all messages funneled into one “mass inbox” and, last but not least, some sort of location-aware coupon service that’s described as “Facebook Deals on steroids.”
Joining that is a report from the London-based City A.M. financial newspaper, which says it has learned from unnamed sources that HTC will debut two Facebook-branded phones at Mobile World Congressnext month. Details on those are otherwise expectedly light, but the paper says the phones will run a “tweaked version” of Android and sport Facebook’s colors — supposedly, Facebook’s Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos (formerly of Firefox and Google, respectively) are largely responsible for the launch. Of course, the paper also says HTC is responsible for “Google’s Nexus range,” which doesn’t exactly help its case, and leads us to suspect that we may simply be dealing with one big game of telephone here.
Facebook will announce two Facebook-branded smartphones at next month’s Mobile World Congress according to a new report from City A.M. The report contradicts Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s earlier claim that the company was not working on branded cell phones, but was instead working to create a better, more comprehensive Facebook experience across existing mobile platforms. HTC will build the new Facebook phones according to the report, and they will feature branding and coloring in line with Facebook’s website. City A.M.goes on to state that the devices will run a modified build of Google’s Android operating system that will display information from a user’s Facebook account on the home screen. Details pertaining to pricing and availability are not yet available.
HTC to Like Facebook phones at MWC
Official tie-ups to be announced in Barcelona
HTC is, according to business freesheet City AM at least, going to announce two Facebook branded phones at MWC next month.
Now, City AM also states that HTC is a “Korean manufacturer”, which will be news to all those people based at HTC’s Taiwan HQ and that “Google’s Nexus range” was manufactured by HTC, which is only half right – so we think we’ll treat this report with a smidgen of hesitation, although we have to say that these are not the first murmurs we’ve heard about a HTC and Facebook tie-up.
The City AM report states that the handsets will bear the Facebook “branding and colours”. But, we can’t see a blue-phone coming out, can you? After all, the Sony Ericsson T200 will always be the blue-phone champion.
Facebook integration will, of course, be prominent although the report states that “the phones will run on a tweaked version of Google’s Android operating system and will prominently display users’ Facebook messages and news feed on the home screen”. Hmmm, HTC Sense and Friend Stream anyone?
The report suggests that Facebook’s Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos (“a leading member of the Google Chrome browser team”) are behind the launch.
All will be confirmed next month in Barcelona….
Tapi seperti biasa, pihak Facebook akan menyangkal rumor tersebut.
FACEBOOK MENYANGKAL RUMOR FACEBOOK PHONE AKAN DIBUAT OLEH HTC
Facebook on Thursday denied earlier reports that HTC is preparing to unveil multiple Facebook-branded smartphones next month at Mobile World Congress. “This is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs (application programing interfaces) and integrated them into their device in an interesting way,” Facebook’s head of business development Dan Rose told reporters.”The rumors around there being something more to this HTC device are overblown.” Rose did not comment on whether or not Facebook is currently working on branded cell phones without HTC’s involvement.
Facebook confirms existence of HTC Facebook phone
But denies it’s a branded handset
Remember the story on Pocket-lint on Wednesday about HTC getting ready to launch a Facebook phone at MWC 2011?
Well, it seems as if it is going to happen – although perhaps not in the way that was made out by the woefully inaccurate City AM report.
Facebook head of business development Dan Rose all but confirmed the existence of a new HTC handset by stating: “this is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs and integrated them into their device in an interesting way”.
He then squashed claims that Facebook was involved with any branding of the phone, answering a firm “no” on the subject and saying: “the rumors around there being something more to this HTC device are overblown.”
Hmmm, so it’s a denial and a confirmation all at once. We are going to see a new “interesting” HTC phone, with Facebook features, but we’re not going to see an actual Facebook branded phone.
It’s even less likely to be blue now then, eh?
APAKAH FACEBOOK PHONE PERLU DIBUAT?
Dan berikut adalah analisis yang cukup menarik dari Gizmodo mengenai perlu atau tidaknya keberadaan dari Facebook Phone ini.
A flurry of rumors circulated today about HTC launching Facebook-branded phones. Let’s talk about this! Updated.
Why this rumor doesn’t make sense
What CityAM is saying about the facebook phone might be right. But it seems off. CityAMdidn’t quote any sources, instead relying on old favorites “City A.M. has learned” and “it is understood…”. OK, that happens all the time. But CityAM is hardly known for breaking tech news. Not to discredit a publication for never having made a scoop, it’s unlikely that a free financial paper—in England, no less—that’s handed out for free at train stations has the necessary contacts to dig up a story of this size. And they’ve changed it now, but CityAM originally described HTC as a Korean company (they’re Taiwanese). If they can’t get this minor point right, it says something about their expertise, now, doesn’t it? Still, we don’t know CityAM is wrong any more than we can prove they are right. Lets just talk about the idea of a Facebook phone, itself.
CityAM’s article says the phone will “run on a tweaked version of Google’s Android operating system and will prominently display users’ Facebook messages and news feed on the home screen.” My HTC Android already does that. Likewise, “other areas of integration expected include being able to call or email friends from information stored on their Facebook page.” Looking at my “contacts” list now, I can see plenty of my Facebook contacts’ email and phone numbers, which I wouldn’t have otherwise. Of course, the Facebook phone could really just be a much more immersive experience, Android is for Google services as compared to the iPhone and its Google App.
- The two engineers CityAM claims that are working on the project—Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos—have previously been fingered as working on Facebook-branded phones lastSeptember. It wasn’t much of a stretch to align them with some mystery HTC phones.
- We know CEOs lie all the time, but for what it’s worth, Zuckerberg himself said at the Facebook platform event last fall that they would not be doing a Facebook phone, outright.
Why make a Facebook phone at all?
Facebook’s iPhone app and lack of a dedicated iPad app are telling. The company is into its web based content but still behind on developing specific versions of their content for specific platforms. Those priorities make sense to me.
So the push for a specific piece of hardware, when Facebook won’t even develop solid apps for all the existing mobile platforms, seems iffy. It’s more likely that HTC is working on an updated version of Sense, its UI for Android, integrating Facebook—and perhaps even Twitter—deeper than we’ve seen in the past.
Indeed, Facebook spokesperson Jaime Schopflin herself confirmed back in September that Hewitt and Papakipos are already working on projects integrated Facebook into existing OSes, such as iOS and the INQ Mobile OS.
Here’s another small point: If you take a look at Moto Blur on Motorola’s Android phones, or Palm/HP’s webOS, or HTC’s Sense UI as mentioned earlier, you’ll see that many phone manufacturers have already been integrating Facebook tightly. You can post status updates from just about anywhere on the phone. Facebook contacts are often merged with your phone’s contacts. Facebook messaging is just another choice in a dropdown menu that includes texts, IMs and emails when you’re talking to your friends. And all your friends have their Facebook photos viewable to the point where your phone just uses their profile picture as your contact photo automatically. These are, essentially, Facebook phones.
That’s no reason for Facebook to not make a phone, but there is an important point here. Unlike Google and Android, who places restrictions on the API so that other phone OSes can’t get the same level of, say, Gmail client performance, Facebook is pretty much open. Why would they make a phone if someone else can make it for them?
Other than these features, think about what you’d want to do on Facebook today that you can’t already do on your Android/Pre phone. It’s hard to come up with something, isn’t it? But facebook’s user base is big enough that a phone with a user experience built around facebook wouldn’t be out of the question. HTC could surprise us all with a pair of Facebook-branded phones at the MWC trade show next month, but it just doesn’t seem like something like this would be a priority for a company that is still working out OS integration on already huge platforms for its already huge user base. [CityAM via TechRadar]
UPDATED: Unsurprisingly, Facebook has denied all talk of a Facebook phone existing, with their head of business development, Dan Rose, stating that “this is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs (application programming interfaces) and integrated them into their device in an interesting way.”
INQ CLUOD TOUCH PHONE: FACEBOOK PHONE DARI INQ
Terlepas dari benar tidaknya rumor di atas, satu hal yang sudah hampir pasti adalah segera akan dirilisnya sebuah smartphone Android berbasis Cloud yang diproduksi oleh perusahaan ponsel yang berlokasi di London bernama INQ. INQ terkenal dengan ponsel-ponselnya yang mengutamakan fitur-fitur social networks atau social media, tetapi hanya dirilis secara terbatas bekerja sama dengan beberapa operator telepon di Eropa.
Pada tahun 2009 INQ dengan produknya INQ 1 pernah memperoleh Global Mobile Awards untuk kategori Best Mobile Handset or Device 2008 dari GSM Association.
Berikut laporan dari PocketNow mengenai INQ Cloud Touch Phone.
A handset known as the INQ Cloud Touch has just received Bluetooth certification, and based on the design description, we believe that it is the first of two “Facebook” phones rumored to be in developmentby both TechCrunch and Bloomberg. Specifically, Bloomberg reported last September that Facebook and London-based INQ were working on a top secret project whose first two deliverables would be a QWERTY-equipped and full-touchscreen smartphone. Well, here’s the description of the INQ Cloud Touch:
“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.”
Sounds to us like the rumored model with a keyboard (mockup pictured above), but it could also be the touchscreen with some fancy Swype-like input. Now that we have a name, we imagine that more information should be forthcoming in short order, especially if the alleged early 2011 European release is to be believed. An AT&T deal was said to be in the works, but nothing had been finalized as of that report.
P.S. Someone should probably tell INQ that simply listing “INQ mobile phone” in the certification description field seems to satisfy the Bluetooth gods.
Update: Someone should probably tell us to get a new glasses prescription, as this is actually called the Cloud Touch, with a U, not Torch, with an R (our mistake is immortalized in the URL slug, as you’ll notice). Yeah, silly us, we know. With that in mind, we’re probably looking at the touchscreen, not the keyboard, model.
Update 2: INQ has taken the unusual step of altering the certification record, noticed TIME’s Techland blog. Besides removing the official name (model number T2-219U is now used in its place), the company purged the last two sentences of the description, thereby removing all references to Facebook. When will companies learn that doing this sort of thing only after the news has already traveled around the world just makes the rumors seem that much more credible?
Source: Bluetooth SIG