Though Facebook has repeatedly denied working on a phone of its own, the social network giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not quite deny the possibility of a phone that’s more attuned to and integrated with the social network. In the company’s earnings call, Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard asked the CEO directly about the Facebook phone, and Zuckerberg gave a roundabout circuitous answer that does not quite deny the potential for Facebook to be more deeply involved in the phone space.
All Things D analyzed the dance of words that Zuckerberg gave to the analyst and reporters and says that at first Zuckerberg’s answer seemed to be a fairly strong “no.”
“There are lots of things that you can build in other operating systems, as well, that aren’t really taking — that aren’t really like building out a whole phone which I think wouldn’t really make much sense for us to do.”
Of course, much of the press in the past did not center around Facebook going solo on its own phone. There has been much speculation that the company would partner with Android veteran HTC to develop a hardware solution and expand on an initial test in the form of the HTC Status, a Facebook-centric Android phone that was launched on AT&T.
But that’s not all. In clarifying his position, Zuckerberg may have given hint to the possibility of a phone in the company’s future: “We want to not just have apps that people use, but also be kind of as deeply integrated into these systems as possible.”
On the same note, it could be argued that Apple and Amazon do not build their own products. Apple relies on Foxconn to manufacture and piece the iPhone together and Amazon works with a Chinese partner to manufacture the Kindle Fire. Facebook could be designing the phone, UI and user experience behind its rumored phone and leave the engineering and manufacturing to HTC or another hardware partner. Additionally, prior to launching its own iPhone, Apple had partnered with Motorola on the ROCKR to deliver an iTunes-centric phone to test the waters.