Handset makers scrambling to make Facebook a central part of their device

Facebook has become such an integral part of people's lives that handset makers are leaping over each other to feature the social networking site on their mobile devices.

Almost every company releasing a mobile pone these days lauds easy access to social networking site Facebook as a major feature of their device but handset makers are now taking the trend further with a craze that has given birth to a number of new social networking handsets dubbed "Facebook phones."

In the days leading up to Mobile World Congress (MWC), London-based social mobile company INQ introduced two new Android-powered Facebook phones: the INQ Touch and the INQ Cloud Q.

Both devices were developed in collaboration with Facebook and feature new mobile apps that put social networking at the forefront of the user experience.

Facebook's newsfeed appears directly on the homescreens of INQ's Facebook phones meaning users can instantly see video, pictures, web pages and posts added by their friends when they look at the device.

"We started the 'Social Mobile' category 3 years ago with the Skypephone and INQ1, as we believed integrating the internet was the future of mobile," said Frank Meehan, INQ's CEO.

"Since then, Facebook has evolved from a social network to become an incredibly powerful global communications platform. Speed and simplicity of access to things you love is our DNA, so our next step is to make it even easier for people to experience the richness of Facebook - all from the homescreen."

HTC is yet to announce its "Facebook phone" at MWC but images of two brand new HTC-branded handsets have already appeared on the net via pocketnow.com.

The devices - one of which is a QWERTY candybar form factor "à la the Motorola Droid" while the other is a "more traditional touchscreen slate" - both have dedicated Facebook buttons.

More information about the devices will be available after HTC's MWC press conference which is due to take place on February 15.  

It's not just smartphone manufacturers that are friending Facebook. Security company Gemalto has developed a SIM card that enables any user with any handset - even those without a data connection or subscription - to access Facebook on their mobile phone.

The Facebook for SIM is "compatible with 100% of SIM-compliant mobile phones," said Gemalto in a February 14 press release and provides users with core Facebook features via SMS technology.

"No data contract or application download is needed, because the software is embedded in the SIM," said Gemalto, adding that "[f]ollowing an initial limited free trial period, Facebook for SIM then operates on a subscription model via an unlimited pass for a given period of time."

Gemalto did not reply to an email from Relaxnews requesting specific pricing information.

While Facebook has actively worked with mobile makers to deeply integrate its social networking service, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said there are no plans to make a "Twitter phone."

During a speech at Mobile World Congress, technology website Paid Content reports that Costolo said, "I believe there is a need [to better integrate] Twitter in existing platforms for phones, but not for a Twitter-branded smartphone."

The INQ Cloud Touch will be available in the second quarter of 2011 while the INQ Cloud Q is set for a third quarter release. Both phones will be marketed at "affordable prices for the mass market," said INQ.

http://paidcontent.org/article/419-mwc-no-twitter-branded-smartphone-says-costolo/
http://pocketnow.com/android/htc-facebook-phones-first-press-shots

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
I'm not worried about United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Helpdesk Support Analyst - South West London - up to £22,000.

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Support Analyst ...

    Datacentre Consultant (Infrastructure Consultant, HyperV) £45k

    £45000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Datacentre Consultant (Datacentre,...

    .NET Developer (C#, .NET, Support) - Coventry - £45k

    £45000 per annum + Excellent Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: .NET Develope...

    SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

    £300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker