updated 10:05 am EST, Thu January 27, 2011
Facebook denies branded HTC phone
Facebook on Thursday rejected rumors that it was working with HTC on a Facebook-branded phone. Following claims by CityAM that two phones would center on the feature at Mobile World Congress next month, business development lead Dan Rose said the claims were "overblown" and that it would have "no" Facebook label. He wouldn't give details of HTC's plans, but he hinted to Reuters that it was just an integration of Facebook into HTC's Sense UI layer for Android.
"his is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs and integrated them into their device in an interesting way," Rose explained.
The original rumor, without citing any sources, insisted the phones would not only highlight the social network in software but would use Facebook's distinctive blue and white colors. Owners could call or e-mail Facebook contacts as well.
The description, while sounding authoritative, closely matched descriptions of what's already present in Android 2.2 and Sense; the HTC interface already has a friend stream that will show Facebook updates and which is loaded by default, and Facebook contact integration is a common feature both in Sense and in other Android implementations.
It also attached the phone development to Facebook's Joe Hewitt and Matt Papakipos, though this itself echoed a past rumor that Facebook has at least publicly denied.