Mixed messages surround Facebook phone

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Facebook quashes link to new HTC smartphones

The next wave of HTC smartphones will not be Facebook-branded, according to a company executive.

A report from City A.M. claimed that two new high-end HTC devices would be debuting next month complete with Facebook branding and colours, as well as features designed to incorporate full integration with the social media site.

However, Facebook has been quick to quash the speculation, with the company's head of business development Dan Rose calling the new handsets "just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs (application programing interfaces) and integrated them into their device in an interesting way."

With or without the branding, City A.M. believes the HTC devices debuting at next month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will include easier ways to call and message Facebook friends, as well as a news feed display on the home screen.

Facebook phone request pending

Despite a hive of activity on the rumour mill, Facebook has so far denied that it will be dipping its $50 billion dollar fingers into the mobile market. In an interview with Mashable last year, founder Mark Zuckerberg emphatically stated "we are not a hardware company".

The world's youngest billionaire and Time Magazine's Person of the Year commented that Facebook partners and sponsors could potentially feel alienated if the social network was to suddenly appear as a rival. Instead, Zuckerberg insisted the firm is "working on deeper and deeper integrations".