A Facebook phone is currently “secretly” in development, according reports emanating from Techcrunch. Fearing the grip that the iPhone and Android platforms have on consumers, Facebook has allegedly put together a superstar team to design an operating system to try to get its tentacles to reach even deeper because knowing every minute detail about 400 million people is clearly not enough. Google proved it could arrive late to the party and still get a respectable foothold in the mobile market, so Facebook probably sees its chances optimistically. However, the last Social Media-based phone to try to lure the teen market was a giant flop. Looking at you, Helio. Granted it was based on the dying on the vine MySpace, and, well, for some reason Facebook has yet to plateau significantly. The Facebook phone’s design team consists of two “rock stars” in the developer world, namely Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos, who were responsible for the Firefox browser and Chrome OS, respectively. I could not fathom buying a phone based on a Social Media application, but then again I’m not 14. Perhaps, the tweens will eat this up? I have to assume the target demographic will be 16 and under. No self-respecting businessman would be caught dead using a Facebook phone, right? I just don’t know anymore.

UPDATE: According to Reuters, Facebook has “denied” plans to build a phone, but CNET News has confirmed that Facebook did reach out to hardware manufacturers about a Facebook branded device. I remember rumors of Google’s denial about developing a phone a few years ago too…

(Thanks to David for the tip).

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