Despite rumors circulating that an upcoming product launch from HTC would be an official “Facebook phone,” the social networking site is saying categorically today that it is not in any such partnership with HTC.
It is true that HTC plans to introduce smartphones with deep Facebook connectivity, perhaps even as the main selling point of the phone. But what Facebook is saying is that it’s not officially sanctioning any of it.
“This is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs (application programming interfaces) and integrated them into their device in an interesting way,” said Facebook business developer chief Dan Rose, according to a quotation from Reuters.
It’s still quite possible that people could refer to the flagship HTC device as the “Facebook phone,” but that can only be a nickname and not an official demarcation. Rose answered a question about whether or not the phone would be Facebook-branded with a simple response of “no.”
Other manufacturers plan to have stronger Facebook integration in their phones as well. Sony Ericsson looks to be the first to incorporate Facebook’s “single sign-on” service, which allows mobile users to sign into one Facebook app, and then never have to sign in separately for FarmVille apps or anything else that uses Facebook login credentials on the phone.
Perhaps this is a strategy from Facebook to let the mobile phone makers do all the hard work. It also doesn’t show any preferable treatment to any specific manufacturer, keeping it a level playing field for all smartphone users.