Update: This news is actually from last September. We saw it tweeted out last night and forgot to check dates. Apologies.Before:
Facebook is working with INQ, a phone manufacturer, on two Facebook-focused smartphones. They will run a stripped-down version of Android and come out first in Europe and later in the US on AT&T. Bloomberg has the story and Om Malik has more details.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The deal with AT&T is not yet final and the phones may not arrive in the US soon;
- The phones will also feature Spotify prominently; Malik says Spotify will launch in the US in December, probably timed with the phone’s US launch;
- Most of the work on user experience is done by INQ; INQ wants to do a Facebook phone because they came out with a phone that featured Facebook prominently and had great success with it;
- Facebook, Spotify and INQ share an investor in Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing; a big Spotify backer is also Sean Parker, who was Facebook’s founding president;
- Your Facebook ID will become more important than your phone number; to activate the phone, you’ll log in with your Facebook ID and everything (contacts, apps) will automagically sync;
- Malik says what is most likely is that the various things Facebook does will be subsumed into the mobile experience: your contact list will be your Facebook contacts, your photo album will link up with your Facebook photos, etc.