You might remember the HTC ChaCha, the “Facebook phone” that didn’t quite live up to its name. Now, AllThingsD claims, the rumours will finally bear fruit: a Facebook Phone made by Facebook. The real deal. And it sounds pointless.
ATD says “the phone is planned to run on a modified version of Android that Facebook has tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services”. Now, if that means a Kindle Fire take on Android — basically making it unrecognisable — that could be a great thing. But if it means stuffing Android with lots of Facebook links, it could be a race car wreck.
But here’s a more urgent point — do we need this? Don’t we already have this? “Facebook has worked to take things a step further,” AllThingsD alleges, “allowing users to upload photos directly from the picture-taking app, or to integrate Facebook contacts with the phone’s address book.” You mean like Windows Phone 7 does? You mean like WebOS did from day one? What hole is Zuckerberg trying to fill here? And do we really trust Facebook, whose IM client has been out for years, is still buggy, and Timeline is months overdue. Facebook does lots of things excellently — they’re ubiquitous for a reason — but clean software I’d want on my phone daily doesn’t seem like one of them. [AllThingsD]