October 20, 2009: Rumor
In what is likely to be seen as disruptive to the wireless status quo, Google is working with a smartphone manufacturer to have a Google-branded phone available this year through retailers and not through telcos, according to Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, who has talked to Google’s design partners about the plan.
October 30, 2009: Denial
But Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, scoffed at the notion that the company would “compete with its customers” by releasing its own phone.
“We’re not making hardware,” Rubin said. “We’re enabling other people to build hardware.”
January 5, 2010: Reality
The first phone we’ll be selling through this new web store is the Nexus One
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September 19, 2010: Rumor
Facebook is building a mobile phone, says a source who has knowledge of the project. Or rather, they’re building the software for the phone and working with a third party to actually build the hardware
September 19, 2010: Denial
“Facebook is not building a phone,” Facebook spokesperson Jaime Schopflin told CNET today. “Our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social, so integrating deeply into existing platforms and operating systems is a good way to enable this.
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I have no insider knowledge of this, but it seems plausible given this non-denial denial that Facebook would release a “deeply integrated” mobile phone, possibly with a software stack on top of a customized version of Android, this holiday season on one of the major US carriers. Facebook’s interest here is increased user engagement on mobile devices, the carriers are always interested in new ways to get unsuspecting customers to pay more for data plans and also to strengthen their negotiating positions against Google/Apple/RIM/whoever else they want to get a better deal from.
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