One of the big revelations of All Things D reporters Ina Fried and Liz Gannes’s great series on the Facebook phone, was that it will run on a “forked” version of Android.We have since confirmed this detail with a source close to the team building Facebook’s mobile OS.
This confirmation is not a big deal.
What’s actually interesting is that another source – this one briefed on the details of Facebook’s plans to launch a phone – told us that internally at Facebook, the phone’s OS is hardly regarded as a version of Android at all.
It is regarded and discussed as a “homegrown” mobile operating system. It will be marketed as one, too.
There is some precedent for this.
Amazon’s new tablet, the Kindle Fire, has an operating system that is also a modified version of Android, but Amazon only mentioned that fact a couple times at its launch event for the new gadget.
From everything we’ve heard, it sounds like the Facebook phone won’t look or work much like Android at all.
One source tells us that when he was close to the project, Facebook executives were debating whether or not “to bother” supporting Android applications.
This source says Facebook’s “very motivation from the beginning” for building its own phone was to eliminate the need for apps or an app store.
Facebook wants developers building their apps in HTML5 and that’s it. The point is to dis-intermediate already established app stores – not create a new one.
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