Yesterday, technology news website TechCrunch reported rumours that Facebook was 'building' a mobile phone by creating the software and working with a third party for the hardware. It noted that Facebook wanted to integrate itself into the contacts list and other core functions. A possible partnership with INQ was suggested, which would follow in the footsteps of the INQ1 handset.
Facebook then issued a denial that was published by Mashable.com. "Facebook is not building a phone", it said. "Building phones is just not what we do".
TechCrunch has now responded, reiterating that their story is accurate and emphasising that "Facebook has been working with hardware manufacturers to explore building their own phone".
It certainly seems plausible that Facebook would like to see an updated version of the INQ1 with a contacts list that offered Facebook instant messaging and wall-to-wall contact alongside phone calls and text messages. In fact, CNET.com has added its voice to the rumours with a report that says "the social-networking giant has reached out to hardware manufacturers and carriers seeking input on a potential Facebook-branded phone" and notes "even though Facebook issued a lengthy denial, the spokesman did not respond when CNET asked if the company is considering marketing a Facebook-branded phone made by a third party."