updated 04:15 pm EDT, Tue October 4, 2011
Facebook said still on Project Spartan, iPad news
Facebook's absence at the iPhone 4S event was owed to a last-minute but not fatal exit from the schedule. Insiders claimed that its portion, which was tentative to start, was cancelled "late last night." The TechCrunch contact instead expected invitations to a separate Facebook event to be sent "sometime very soon."
The repeated delays cast doubt on the accuracy of the rumor. Such delays aren't uncommon for Apple, however, which has been known to drop partners and even whole products from its special events, sometimes as close as the day before. Apple is well known for having 'punished' ATI (now part of AMD) for slipping word of new Power Macs a day early by dropping ATI's graphics as an option.
Facebook is on friendlier terms and would have been there for features that weren't essential to the keynote. One would be an iPad-optimized Facebook app that's known to have been in the code since the summer. Also due is Project Spartan, an HTML5 platform for games and other apps that can work on iOS or Android without having to use Flash.
The social network has called the current period an 'announcement season' and has already unveiled a revamped profile page and an expanded Open Graph that allows much tighter integration between Facebook and mobile apps.