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Sunday’s Big Rumor: A Facebook Phone

fbphoneI’ve talked before about how no one in the tech industry is happy with the color of grass in their own patch. Apple wants to be Facebook. Google wants to be Apple. Microsoft wants to be anyone but Microsoft.

Well here’s a rumor that could practically write itself. Mike Arrington at TechCrunch is reporting that according to internal sources, Facebook may be planning to release their own cell phone.

The benefits of a Facebook phone are obvious: automatic contact integration, using names instead of numbers to make calls and of course, full Farmville integration for the agriculture junkies.

But the downsides seem to outweigh the advantages, assuming Facebook plans to pay any attention at all to users needs. Would the phone allow any other apps? Would a browser be included? Why would anyone buy a Facebook device when iPhones and Android devices allow almost full use of Facebook via a browser?

My hunch here is that Facebook has to at least ask the question “what would a Facebook phone look like”, but that the reality is that its a lot of work for them to negotiate with carriers and hardware manufacturers just to get their web-based product in a branded box.

The article is light on details, so as with all rumors, time will tell.

Would you buy a Facebook phone? What might the killer feature be that would get you to ditch your iPhone?

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