Facebook sees smartphone future - but isn't making one

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook sees a promising future in mobile phones but the online social networking star is not building its own handset, the founder said in a TechCrunch interview posted online.

"Our goal is to have Facebook be everywhere and everything be social rather than a specific device," founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.

"We're not trying to compete with Apple or the Droid (mobile phone from Motorola) or any other hardware manufacturer for that matter."

Facebook arranged for the interview to dispel speculation that the Palo Alto, California, company was working on a mobile phone.

Zuckerberg told TechCrunch that rumours may have resulted from mistaken interpretation of Facebook's efforts to infuse its services and features in the gamut of mobile devices.

"Our goal is to make it so that we can design the best integrations in the widest variety of phones," Zuckerberg said, stressing that Facebook was not building a mobile operating system or hardware "from scratch."

Software can make mobile phones more personalised and social by letting people sign in the way they do to customized home pages at Google, Yahoo! or elsewhere on the internet, according to Zuckerberg.

"Just make it so that you log into your phone once, and then everything that you do on your phone is social," he said.

"I guess maybe Google or Microsoft could log you into the browser, but we can't because we don't build a browser," Zuckerberg continued. "But, that is the basic strategy."

Facebook is trying to be the platform for a "social layer" in all internet-linked devices, according to the founder.

Facebook is investing heavily in weaving its software into iPhones since the Apple smartphones have a commanding presence in the market and has been increasing focus on handsets powered by Google-backed Android software.

"If Windows Phone 7 takes off, I'm sure we'll put resources into that," Zuckerberg said.

Microsoft's latest-generation mobile software platform is to be released next month.

- AFP

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